Canada’s Uranium Industry No Threat to U.S.: Steelworkers

TORONTO, VANCOUVER – There is no justification for Canada to be included in an investigation by the United States into whether imports of uranium threaten U.S. national security, the United Steelworkers (USW) says.

The Trump administration announced today that it has launched an investigation into uranium imports into the U.S., once again invoking the so-called Section 232 clause in American trade law that allows for imposition of tariffs or quotas on foreign imports deemed to threaten U.S. national security.

“It is abundantly clear that Canadian uranium exports do not present a national security threat to the United States,” said Ken Neumann, Canadian Director of the USW, which represents workers in the uranium mining and processing sectors in Western Canada and Ontario.

“There is simply no evidence to justify Canada’s inclusion in this investigation in the first place, let alone the prospect of imposing tariffs or quotas on Canadian uranium exports,” Neumann said.

“As a fair-trading nation with the U.S., Canada must be exempted from this investigation, or any potential tariffs or quotas on Canadian uranium. Targeting Canada’s uranium industry would be absurd and would suggest a deliberate escalation by the Trump administration – for its own political purposes – of a trade war with America’s closest ally,” he said.

“American uranium producers who petitioned the Trump administration to launch the Section 232 investigation have specified that their concern is unfair trade practices by overseas producers – not Canada,” noted Stephen Hunt, USW Director for Western Canada.

“The American uranium industry has indicated that the problem is with heavily subsidized and state-owned uranium producers, primarily from Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, whose practices are undermining fair trade. Canada is not the problem,” Hunt said.

“As with Canada’s steel and aluminum industries, Canadian uranium producers engage in fair trade with the U.S. and have long been key allies in helping to supply the needs of the American market,” said Marty Warren, USW Director for Ontario and Atlantic Canada.

“In petitioning the Trump administration for the Section 232 investigation, U.S. uranium producers said they have no problem competing with foreign producers who operate on a level playing field, which describes Canada to a tee. They have basically made the case that Canada should be exempted,” Warren said.

“The Canadian government must forcefully demand an exemption for our uranium industry from the U.S. administration,” Neumann said. “Absent such an exemption, the federal government must be prepared to act quickly and decisively to take all measures at its disposal to defend Canadian producers, workers and communities.”


For further information:

Ken Neumann, USW Canadian Director, 416-544-5951
Marty Warren, USW Ontario and Atlantic Canada Director, 416-243-8792, mwarren@usw.ca
Scott Lunny, Assistant to the USW Western Canada Director, 604-329-5308, slunny@usw.ca
Denis St. Pierre, USW Communications, 647-522-1630, dstpierre@usw.ca

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