Canadian Aluminum, Steel Must Be Excluded from U.S. Tariffs and Quotas: Steelworkers

TORONTO, MONTREAL, 16 February 2018 – Canada is not among the “bad actors” engaged in unfair trade and dumping of aluminum and steel into the United States and must be excluded from potential U.S. tariffs and quotas, the United Steelworkers (USW) says.

“There is no justification to include Canada with countries that systematically violate trade laws and engage in the dumping of illegally subsidized aluminum and steel,” USW National Director Ken Neumann said following today’s release of a U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) report on the impact of imported steel and aluminum on U.S. national security.

The DOC’s Section 232 report has recommended three separate options for American President Donald Trump to consider regarding steel and aluminum exports to the U.S., ranging from across-the-board tariffs, to tariffs for “bad actor” countries and exclusions for “good actor” countries. The president also can implement modified versions of any of the recommendations, or take no action at all.

“The intent of the DOC’s report is to respond to countries whose trade practices represent a threat to U.S. national security,” Neumann said.

“The report, as well as testimony provided by expert witnesses during the investigation stage, demonstrate that Canada is not one of the ‘bad actor’ countries that threaten U.S. interests,” added Marty Warren, USW District 6 Director (Ontario and Atlantic Canada).

The DOC report includes several positive references to Canada, characterizing it as a partner and supplier to the American aluminum industry, rather than a threat.

During the DOC’s Section 232 investigation, retired U.S. army brigadier general John Adams urged that Canada’s steel sector not be hit with tariffs.

“The one supplier in whom I have complete confidence is Canada. Not only do we currently have a steel surplus with Canada, but we share a border and have synergistic strategic, economic and national security interests,” Adams testified.

USW International President Leo W. Gerard also said Canada should be excluded from punitive actions that should be focused on bad actor countries including China, Egypt, India, Malaysia, Korea, Russia, Turkey and Vietnam.

“Our economies are very closely intertwined and we hope the U.S. government won’t threaten the steel and aluminum industries by taking punitive action,” said Steve Hunt, USW District 3 Director (Western Canada).

U.S. trade action against Canadian aluminum and steel would not serve the interests of the American economy, Steelworkers' Quebec Director Alain Croteau said.

“Imposing tariffs or quotas on Canadian exports will result in job losses in the U.S. manufacturing sector and will increase prices for many goods and products. Workers on both sides of the border will lose,” Croteau said.

“Compared to other producers, Quebec’s aluminum sector is more environmentally friendly and produces much lower greenhouse gas emissions,” he added.

The USW also is calling for a strong response from the Canadian government to defend the Canadian aluminum and steel industries from unjustified tariffs and quotas.

"The government of Canada must act decisively to defend fair trade and the tens of thousands of Canadian families whose livelihoods depend on the aluminum and steel sectors," Neumann said.

"The Canadian government should work with the U.S. in fighting the predatory and destructive trade practices of China and other bad actor countries.”


For further information:

Ken Neumann, USW National Director, 647-999-3098
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications (Toronto), 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, bgallagher@usw.ca
Clairandrée Cauchy, USW Communications (Montreal), 514-774-4001, ccauchy@metallos.ca

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