Keep Safeguards in Place to Protect Canada’s Steel Industry

OTTAWA – Ken Neumann, National Director of the United Steelworkers union (USW) said today that, with no sign of U.S. steel tariffs ending anytime soon, the federal government must continue safeguard measures on several categories of foreign steel imports, which surged throughout much of 2018.

“Our members themselves are appearing this month before the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) to make the case for extending safeguard measures beyond the original 200-day period that began in October,” Neumann said, adding that the union’s participation in CITT proceedings is critical for making a decision that takes into consideration impacts on workers and communities as well as companies.

“The need to extend the safeguards is compounded by the continuing unfair, U.S.-imposed, 25-per-cent tariffs on Canadian steel,” he said. “The Liberal government has so far failed in its efforts to end this attack on Canadian jobs in a critical industry.”

Abnormal increases of foreign steel imports into Canada are the result of initial tariffs imposed by the U.S. on much of the world last March, and prior to the start of tariffs on Canadian steel to the U.S. in June.

The CITT’s mandate in the current inquiry is to determine whether imports of certain products are causing injury or threat of injury to domestic producers and warrant safeguard measures to stabilize the Canadian steel market in seven steel products. 

“Of course we must rigorously defend our steel industry from a glut of foreign steel made cheap because of labour, human rights and environmental exploitation,” said Neumann. “We need safeguards to ensure the stability of the steel market and to dampen the effects of Trump’s tariffs.

“Beyond that, a more permanent and rational approach to steel trade is what is needed most, starting with the integrated North American market and the removal of tariffs based on a bogus charge of Canada being a threat to U.S. national security.” 

USW members from Algoma Steel Inc., Stelco, Ivaco, Tenaris, ArcelorMittal, Nova Tube, Evraz and AltaSteel are attending the CITT Ottawa hearings, which are scheduled to end on Jan. 24.


For further information:

Ken Neumann, USW National Director, 416-544-5951
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications,  416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, bgallagher@usw.ca

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