Liberals Approve Exporting Good Canadian Steel Jobs to China

OTTAWA – The United Steelworkers (USW) is denouncing the federal Liberal government for giving away thousands of Canadian jobs and billions in economic activity by allowing duty-free imports of illegally dumped Chinese and Korean steel products to build two of Canada’s largest-ever energy projects.

“There is no justification for the Government of Canada to hand over the largest construction project in our country’s history to Chinese steel producers who engage in unfair trade practices,” said USW National Director Ken Neumann.

“As Canada’s steel construction industry has stated, this scandalous decision by the Trudeau government could cost a massive loss of Canadian jobs,” Neumann noted.

Neumann was referring to the Liberal government’s decision to withdraw tariffs and duties from illegally dumped Chinese and Korean steel products for the construction of liquid natural gas (LNG) projects in British Columbia, valued at $42 billion.

“The Canadian International Trade Tribunal imposed duties on these foreign producers because they engage in unfair trade and illegal dumping that harm Canadian workers and companies,” Neumann noted.

“The Liberal government is undermining its own trade remedy system and betraying Canadians, to submit to the illegitimate demands of multinational corporations that will profit from these LNG projects,” he said.

The USW and the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC) categorically reject the contention of the multinational consortiums LNG Canada and Woodfibre LNG  that they must use unfairly traded, duty-free, foreign steel products to ensure their projects’ viability.

The multinationals behind these projects also plan to rely on foreign producers to build and assemble modular sections of their massive projects, with all the equipment and components already pre-installed and then shipped to Canada for installation. The process could eliminate the need for thousands of Canadian jobs.

“These products can be made in Canada, using Canadian workers and fairly traded, market-priced steel, without jeopardizing the projects’ viability,” Neumann said, citing an analysis from the CISC.

“These multinational corporations want to use unfairly traded foreign steel to maximize their profits. And they now have the green light from the Liberal government to do so, at the expense of tens of thousands of jobs that would have been created across Canada,” he said.

“Last fall the federal government provided $375 million to LNG Canada to support the project. If the Liberal government is going to spend taxpayers’ dollars to support these energy projects, it should surely be defending Canadian workers and companies by insisting that these projects are built with Canadian steel,” Neumann added.

“Unless this government changes course, it will be responsible for a historic betrayal of Canadian workers, companies and communities.”


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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