United Steelworkers Welcomes Tariffs Deal, Urges Strong Measures to Protect Canadian Steel

TORONTO – The United Steelworkers (USW) welcomes today’s agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico to lift U.S. tariffs on aluminum and steel, but urges the Canadian government to impose critical measures needed to defend Canada’s steel sector against import surges and unfair trade practices.

“We have fought the U.S. tariffs non-stop for close to a year and their removal is good news for workers, producers and communities across the country,” said USW National Director Ken Neumann.

“Our union has been pushing as hard as we can – in Canada and in the U.S. – for these tariffs to be lifted. We’ve finally achieved that goal, but it should have been resolved long ago,” Neumann said.

“From the outset we have taken the position that these tariffs were illegal and unjustified. They were imposed on the basis that our exports posed a threat to U.S.  national security, but of course Canadian steel and aluminum have never posed any such threat,” he added.

“These absurd tariffs were particularly harmful because Canada and the U.S. have an integrated market in steel and aluminum,” Neumann said.

“The tariffs have had a significant effect on Canadian workers, with more than 600 layoffs in the steel sector. Additionally, new investments in our steel and aluminum sector have been put on hold or jeopardized due to the instability caused by these tariffs,” he said.

“Our steel sector and our workers are still at risk from predatory practices of foreign producers who flout fair trade rules and who are now shut out of other markets. It is critical that the federal government impose measures to stabilize our market and defend Canada’s steel sector from these destructive practices.

“As it is, Canada stands alone in failing to protect our markets, while the U.S., Mexico and Europe have taken strong action to defend their steel industries.”

The USW is waiting to learn all the details of the agreement announced today, to determine the merits and efficacy of monitoring mechanisms intended to address potential surges of steel dumping from countries including China, Turkey and India.


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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