How Are U.S.-Canada, Detroit-Windsor Relations Faring Amid Rising Trade Tensions?

“We’ve never seen something like this where there has been little to no instructions or direction on what the tariffs would be.”

Jake Neher/WDET

The effects of President Trump’s trade policies might be causing conflicts with our neighbors to the North.

The Trump administration has placed tariffs on steel and aluminum from Canada and desperately wants to renegotiate NAFTA.

In response, Canada placed tariffs on $12.6 billion worth of steel and aluminum along with 120 other consumer products.



This international conflict is of specific interest to Michigan and Ontario, as people and business flows freely between both sides of the border.

So what do the people of Ontario think of this new tension with the United States? And what are they doing in response?

Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson speaks with Laurie Tannous, vice president of government and industry relations for Farrow, a Windsor business that helps companies on both sides of border engage in trade with customs agencies.

Reactions to the tariffs:

“To say ‘We’re just gonna not do business with you anymore’ or ‘We’re just going to take our goods and go home’ is a bit shocking to us,” says Tannous. “It doesn’t work that way. It’s so entangled and it’s so interconnected that it’s much easier said than done.”

“We’ve never seen something like this where there has been little to no instructions or direction on what the tariffs would be, when they would exactly come into effect, and what the details surrounding them would be.”

Henderson also speaks with Cheryl Hardcastle, a member of Canadian Parliament representing Windsor-Tecumseh, who recently released a statement criticizing the U.S. tariffs along with two other members of Parliament

On the relationship between Windsor and Detroit:

“For us, we in Windsor and Detroit, we’ve always looked at this as the river binding us, the river connecting us. And now we have the issues with it’s a border and it’s separating us. But we’ve never looked at it that way.”

On the construction of the Gordie Howe Bridge:

“I have not had any indication that it’s being impacted. In fact, we are doing a tour of the progress of it next week.”

“We know that this area does a quarter of the trade between Canada and the U.S.,” says Hardcastle. “We have a trade hub here and the Gordie Howe Bridge is definitely going to enhance that.”

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.


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