TORONTO, MONTREAL, 1 March 2018 – Canada’s steel and aluminum producers clearly must be excluded from U.S. import tariffs announced today by President Donald Trump, the United Steelworkers (USW) says.
“The evidence is clear that Canadian steel and aluminum imports are not part of the problem that the U.S. administration is trying to address through its Section 232 investigation,” said USW National Director Ken Neumann.
U.S. President Donald Trump today announced plans to impose tariffs of 10% on aluminum imports and 25% on steel imports. Key details, such as whether fair-trading allies such as Canada will be excluded from duties, have yet to be disclosed.
“The investigation heard extensive evidence that Canada is a key U.S. ally that should be excluded from tariffs. Canada clearly is not one of the ‘bad actors’ that engage in unfair trade and dumping of aluminum and steel into the United States,” Neumann said.
“On the contrary, Canadian steel exports are part of deeply integrated supply chains for U.S. products. Imposing tariffs on Canadian exports risks causing significant economic harm and job losses on both sides of our border,” he said.
“The aim of the U.S. government’s Section 232 investigation is to respond to countries whose trade practices represent a threat to American national security. The evidence confirms that tariffs and punitive actions are warranted against ‘bad actor’ countries that engage in illegal dumping and unfair trade practices, including China, Egypt, India, Malaysia, Korea, Russia, Turkey and Vietnam.”
“Canada is not the problem,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard.
“The United States and Canada have integrated manufacturing markets. In addition, the defence and intelligence relationship between the countries is unique and integral to our security. Any solution must exempt Canadian production,” Gerard said. “At the same time, Canada must commit to robust enforcement of its trade laws and enhance its cooperation to address global overcapacity in steel and aluminum.”
Steelworkers’ Quebec Director Alain Croteau asserted that “U.S. tariffs against Canadian aluminum producers would not serve the interests of the American economy.
“Canadian producers represent a stable, secure and environmentally favourable source of aluminum that benefits American industry and consumers,” Croteau said.
“Canadian and American workers and consumers should expect that the U.S. government will do the right thing and exempt Canadian aluminum and steel exports from tariffs or quotas,” he added.
The USW reiterated its call for the Government of Canada to act decisively to defend Canadian industries and jobs.
“U.S. tariffs threaten to increase the dumping of cheap foreign steel into Canada,” Neumann said. “The federal government must act to protect Canadian industry and jobs from this potential diversion of cheap imports into our markets.”