ADF Group lays off 50 employees after losing U.S. bids amid tariff tensions

TERREBONE, Que. — ADF Group Inc. said Tuesday it has temporarily laid off 50 employees after losing out on major project bids in the United States during the height of tariff tensions.

The move shows that uncertainty on trade policies with the U.S. is having an effect on Canada’s manufacturing industry, said Dennis Darby, CEO of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters.

“It can’t be overstated that uncertainty with the U.S. about our trading relationship with our biggest trading partner is causing companies to rethink investment. The ADF Group is one of those decisions that companies are making every day.”

Most companies won’t be making public if they’ve lost out on contracts or seen other impacts from the U.S. trade uncertainty, but many are holding back or being more hesitant on spending decisions until there’s more certainty, said Darby.

“Do I expand my production in Canada, do I invest my next dollar of capital in the U.S., do I wait and see where it all ends? We’ve been hearing that from our members across the country.”

There’s been a cloud of uncertainty for manufacturers and exports throughout the renegotiations of NAFTA, which was then heightened when U.S. President Donald Trump said in early March that he would impose tariffs on all steel and aluminum imports.

Trump has since walked back those positions, first allowing temporary exemptions for Canada and Mexico, followed by exemptions for the European Union, South Korea, Argentina, Australia and Brazil.

ADF Group, however, said it lost its bids on major U.S. projects before the U.S. government announced that Canada would be exempted from the tariffs.

Even with the temporary tariff exemption in place, there will continue to be business disruptions while NAFTA is being resolved, said Peter Warrian, a senior research fellow at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs.

“Even though we’ve got this temporary exemption, until the NAFTA deal is finalized you’ve got an uncertain environment, so how do you make order decisions? How do you make investment decisions?”

He said he wasn’t surprised to hear the ADF Group news given the uncertainty, and that China’s potential responses to tariffs and steel restrictions will mean more uncertainty going forward.

ADF Group, however, said it’s working on several more bids, including for large-scale projects in the U.S. The company said it will be able to recall employees targeted by the temporary layoff as new contracts are signed.

The company manufactures a range of steel products from I-beams to large complex structures. It has two fabrication plants and two paint shops, in Canada and in the United States, along with a construction division in the U.S.

Just Posted

Eager-beaver cannabis entrepreneurs already waiting outside Red Deer City Hall

Appications will be accepted on a first-come basis starting on Tuesday

Like father like son: Red Deer area Dreeshen family dedicates life to public service

There are three jobs that could be considered the Dreeshen family business:… Continue reading

Restaurant owner concerned about Gasoline Alley road changes

Nearly 20 trucks were lined up on the service road in front… Continue reading

Preliminary hearings set for two men charged in weapons and drugs bust

A Red Deer man and Sylvan Lake man are facing 80 charges

Eight dogs found in Innisfail hotel room were kept in cages

Eight dogs, kept in cages in a small hotel room in Innisfail… Continue reading

WATCH: Hypnotizing show at Westerner Days

Hynotist and mentalist Joshua Seth performs three times a day at Westerner Days

PHOTOS: River Town Saints rock Red Deer

River Town Saints play Westerner Days Friday in Red Deer

PHOTOS: Dogs, horses and more animals at Westerner Days

Westerner Park’s pavilions were filled with animals during Westerner Days

Red Deer residents can’t get enough mini-doughnuts

Mini-doughnuts were the biggest draw to Westerner Days according to a Red… Continue reading

Four-car crash, including RCMP vehicle, on Highway 2

Two sheriff vehicles were also involved in the collision

Divers hunt for 4 after Missouri duck boat sinks, killing 13

BRANSON, Mo. — Divers are searching Friday for four people still missing… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer’s noxious weeds are a goat’s dietary delight

Piper Creek Community Garden gets chemical-free weed control

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

From hot to not? The Baloney Meter weighs in on Scheer’s economy claims

OTTAWA — “Justin Trudeau inherited a booming economy, but he’s squandering it.… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month