News, Developments and Information

National Day of Mourning

Every year thousands of people gather around the world on April 28th to observe the National Day of Mourning. This Sunday please come out to Queen Elizabeth Court II City Hall, 2476 Victoria Ave @1:00 pm to honor the workers that have been killed, injured or made ill by work.

1 is to many!! We at the United Steelworkers commit to Fight for the Living and Mourn for the Dead to make work safer for all of us.

2019 Q1 Profit Sharing

The financial performance for the 1st quarter of 2019 resulted in profit sharing payment for employees under the Quarterly Bonus Plan. The payout will be $0.40 per eligible hour bonus payment for qualifying employees deposited into your bank account by May 3, 2019.

NDP MOTION PASSES: FINANCE MINISTER MUST IMPLEMENT STEEL SAFEGUARD MEASURES BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE

NDP MOTION PASSES: FINANCE MINISTER MUST IMPLEMENT STEEL SAFEGUARD MEASURES BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE

OTTAWA – Today, in the House of Commons, an NDP motion calling on the Minister of Finance to implement permanent safeguard measures to protect Canada’s steel industry passed unanimously.

“The passing of the NDP motion sends a strong message to the Liberal government that we can no longer sit still while thousands of jobs in our steel sector are in jeopardy,” said the NDP Critic for International Trade, Tracey Ramsey. “The illegal dumping of dirty steel by foreign countries in Canada is hurting workers, businesses and communities. The Finance Minister must act urgently before it’s too late and implement the safeguard measures.” 

The NDP motion urges the Finance Minister to follow the lead of European Union in implementing the steel safeguard measures to protect workers. The deadline Canada is up against to put in place those measures is April 27, 2019. The Minister of Finance must act now to avoid putting at risk Canadian jobs in the steel sector.

The motion that was passed today reads as follows:

“That, given that many of the 23, 000 direct jobs and 100,000 indirect jobs of the Canadian steel industry are at risk and that many of our economic partners, like the European Union, protect workers with permanent safeguard measures, the House urge the Minister of Finance to implement permanent safeguards measures for our steel industry immediately to avoid a deadline of April 27, 2019.”

PROFIT SHARING UPDATE

Earlier this week we received a Memorandum of Understanding from the company regarding our Profit Sharing grievance. The grievance stated that the company was not providing us with the Audited Consolidated Statement of Income as outlined in the C.B.A. Specifically they were only giving us a spread sheet with numbers that could have come from anywhere. At the original meeting here in Regina we were told that the company knows they have been giving us the incorrect info but going forward they will provide us with the correct info from Ernst & Young and anything previous they will not give us. Well in Calgary the company provided us with the Audited Financial information from E&Y and it demonstrates and coincides with the figures and earnings from 2012 to present. Going forward the company has agreed to provide us with an extra level of information from the Auditor.

Freeland not clear whether US steel tariffs will kill USMCA ratification

Foreign Affairs minister Chrystia Freeland still calls U.S. tariffs on Canadian steel “illegal and unjust;” “frankly absurd”, but won’t say definitively if they would prevent her government from ratifying the new NAFTA agreement, or what the U.S. calls United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

Continue reading Freeland not clear whether US steel tariffs will kill USMCA ratification

S&PGlobalPlatts:US line pipe producers call for Section 232 tariffs to remain on Canada, Mexico

Pittsburgh — US line pipe producers are urging the US to keep in place the Section 232 tariffs on exports of large-diameter line pipe from Canada and Mexico, even if an updated trade agreement between the three countries is ratified.

The American Line Pipe Producers Association alleges that Canada and Mexico “continue to engage in unfair trade practices” with respect to US imports of large-diameter welded line pipe (LDWP), according to a statement from the group issued Tuesday.

Continue reading S&PGlobalPlatts:US line pipe producers call for Section 232 tariffs to remain on Canada, Mexico

Building Power

This past week members from USW Regina locals 5890, WASCO 5917, Calgary locals 6673, and Tenaris Prudential 7226 met for a Building Power Course facilitated by Mike Zielinski from The USW International Office, Strategic Campaign department. District 3 Director Steve Hunt and Assistant to the Director Scott Lunny opened our meeting on the first day with bargaining strategies and success stories and offered their support. We talked about ideas and strategies to enhance our communication skills, ways to increase solidarity and prep for upcoming bargaining.

We have established a CAT team (Communication Action Team) to share information in and make sure our membership is up to date on all our issues in real time. The point of the CAT team is to involve a broad spectrum of our membership to relay information from the Executive and the bargaining committee. These roles will be an integral part of our bargaining going forward and will have a large role in our fight to preserve and enhance our position in bargaining.

There will be specific training sessions for CAT team Coordinators and members- details to follow.
We still require a few more members to work with the coordinators, if you want to make a difference and be active in the process please reach out to your local President.

The four locals have committed to dates for a Bargaining school which will include CAT team coordinators.

UNION EDUCATION

There is a couple of opportunities for upcoming Union Education if anyone is interested. First we have the District Summer School in Kimberly, British Columbia from June 9-14 and we are approved to send up to 10 people. Next we have the Prairie School for Women June 9-13 in Waskesiu Lake and we are approved for 3 people to attend. If anyone is interested please either email m.day@usw5890.com or call the office at 569-9663.

Saskatchewan’s labour movement forms Solidarity Committee to help striking Saskatoon Co-op workers

Leaders from unions across the province have come together to form a Solidarity Committee aimed at helping striking Saskatoon Co-op workers get a fair deal from their employer.

“Workers at Saskatoon Co-op, who are members of UFCW Local 1400, have been on strike since November of 2018. That is a very long time for people to be out of work; it’s time the Saskatoon Co-op get serious about signing a fair deal,” said Lori Johb, Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) president, “our Solidarity Committee will seek to mobilize the nearly 100,000 members of the SFL across the province to put pressure on Saskatoon Co-op and Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL),” she added.

Actions organized by the Solidarity Committee and campaign could include:

·       Informational leafleting in Saskatoon and across the province;

·       Public engagement and education to encourage people to avoid shopping at Saskatoon Co-op;

·       Days of Action to show support for striking workers;

·       Targeted requests to avoid doing business with FCL and FCL holdings.

“UFCW Local 1400 members at Saskatoon Co-op have been forced out on strike by a greedy employer who wants to roll back the principles of the co-op movement – principles like fairness and pay equity. Saskatoon Co-op, backed by FCL, is pushing a mean-spirited contract that would prevent new workers from earning the same wages as other workers for doing the exact same work and slash the wages of many workers by $8,000 per year,” said Johb, “it’s not fair and it’s not the co-op philosophy, so we intend to take that message to consumers not just in Saskatoon, but across Saskatchewan,” she added.

Saskatoon Co-op CEO Grant Wicks has been unwilling to bend on his demands for major wage cuts. Meanwhile, UFCW Local 1400 members have told the employer they’re willing to meet to reach a fair deal that reflects the needs of workers and the business.

Federated Co-operatives Limited CEO Scott Banda could intervene in the matter, but has chosen to stand by while workers are left out in the cold. The umbrella organization for Co-operatives in Canada, Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada (CMC), has also chosen to stay silent.

Trump’s trade chief hints at quotas in exchange for end to steel and aluminum tariffs

WASHINGTON—U.S. President Donald Trump will not lift his tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum without imposing other restrictions to replace them, like quotas, Trump’s trade chief suggested to Congress on Tuesday.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said any resolution to the tariff dispute with Canada and Mexico has to be one that “protects the president’s basic program” on steel and aluminum. Trump’s view and his view, he said, is that the tariffs have been “very successful.”

Continue reading Trump’s trade chief hints at quotas in exchange for end to steel and aluminum tariffs

U.S. working on steel, aluminum tariff relief for Canada, Mexico, says Lighthizer

The United States is working on a plan that lifts steel and aluminum tariffs off Mexican and Canadian products while preserving the gains of those tariffs overall, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Tuesday.

“What I’m trying to do is a have a practical solution to a real problem … get rid of tariffs on these two, let them maintain their historic access to the U.S. market, which I think will allow us to still maintain the benefit of the steel and aluminum program,” Lighthizer told the U.S. Senate Finance Committee in Washington D.C. at a hearing about the World Trade Organization.

U.S. President Donald Trump imposed tariffs — 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum — back in 2018 on national security grounds. Tariffs on both sides of the border have disrupted supply chains and added extra costs for consumers and businesses across a wide range of industries.

Continue reading U.S. working on steel, aluminum tariff relief for Canada, Mexico, says Lighthizer

Donations for our injured Brother

Brothers and Sisters

Your USW 5890 Executive would like to thank you all for your generosity in donating to help our injured brother. We would also like to thank USW 6717{Weyburn}, USW 5971{Regina}, USW 6673{Calgary}, USW Soar Chapter 19, Wheat City Metals Social Club, Denise Deck{Calgary} and Unifor 594{Co-op Refinery} along with each individual that donated. With all of you help we were able to raise over $18,000. His life will never be the same and hopefully this him will help in one way or another. We know he is very grateful for everyone’s support and wishes he could thank everyone of you for thinking of him.

Once again

THANK YOU

In Solidarity

White House official says heavy’ talks underway to lift steel and aluminum tariff

WASHINGTON — A senior White House official said Sunday the optimism from Canada’s ambassador that the two countries will reach a deal on steel and aluminum tariffs is well founded.

On Thursday, Ambassador David MacNaughton told reporters he expected the two countries to reach a positive resolution on the tariffs within the “next few weeks.

Continue reading White House official says heavy’ talks underway to lift steel and aluminum tariff

TRADE UPDATE

DUTIES LOWERED ON LARGE DIAMETER PIPE, OTHER TARIFFS REMAIN

For the last six months, our large diameter welded pipe business has weathered great challenges in the face of increased trade barriers that combined have added a near-50 percent mark-up on our sales from Canada to the United States. Today, I am pleased to share with you that the U.S. Department of Commerce issued a determination that will provide at least some relief to ongoing trade-related difficulties our business faces.
In August 2018, following a petition filed by a coalition of U.S. pipe producers, the Commerce Department imposed a 24.38 percent anti-dumping duty on welded line pipe greater than 16-inch outside diameter exported from Canada into the United States. In its final determination issued today, Commerce affirmed the establishment of anti-dumping duties against several countries, including Canada, but established a 12.32 percent anti-dumping rate – half the previous rate – for EVRAZ North America large diameter welded pipe coming into the United States from Canada.
While we are encouraged by this announcement, other duties remain in place, including the Section 232 steel tariffs. For our large diameter welded pipe products, that 25 percent tariff on steel coming into the United States gets added onto the now-12.32 percent anti-dumping rate. An improvement, but still a significant premium our customers must pay.
I shared with you in August some of the steps we are taking to deal with the trade environment we find ourselves in, notably in dealings with our valued customers and as we engage political leaders in Washington and Ottawa. Those efforts continue as we work to push for the lifting of remaining tariffs negatively affecting our business. I’d particularly like to thank all of our colleagues who worked so hard on presenting our position to the Commerce Department, a cross-functional group pulling together sales, logistics and production data from across the company.
We have the highest-quality line pipe in the business and have significant opportunities for growth in the year ahead. Our business has gotten off to a strong start in 2019 and I am counting on all of you to focus on working safely as we improve our quality, increase our productivity and manage our costs all to meet the needs of our customers.

https://www.commerce.gov/news/press-releases/2019/02/us-department-commerce-finds-dumping-and-countervailable-subsidization

Canada quietly moves to resolve steel spat with Mexico

Finance Minister Bill Morneau has quietly reversed a controversial decision to slap a surtax on two types of Mexican steel imports.

Effective Feb. 2, up to a new limit, Mexican energy tubular products (such as those used to build pipelines) and wire rod shipments will no longer cost an extra 25 per cent under Canada’s emergency ‘safeguard’ measures.

Continue reading Canada quietly moves to resolve steel spat with Mexico

Steelworkers lead protest over dismissal of criminal charges in death of truck driver

Labour activists yesterday protested the dismissal of criminal charges against a concrete company accused of negligence in a truck driver’s death. Cabinet two years ago promised to step up enforcement of a law that made employers criminally liable for needless industrial accidents.

“The consequences of workplace deaths and injuries must be more than a cost of doing business,” Marty Warren, Ontario director of the United Steelworkers, yesterday said in a statement: “Since the law was enacted, there have been more than 15,000 workplace-related deaths in Canada.”

Continue reading Steelworkers lead protest over dismissal of criminal charges in death of truck driver

PROFIT SHARING DISCUSSIONS

As we have mentioned previous, the profit sharing discussions were to be scheduled in Toronto for Feb 13,2019. Due to weather in Toronto both the Unions and Company’s flights into Toronto have been canceled. We are working on securing another date as soon as possible and when that is know it will be passed on to our membership.

MEMBER ASSISTANCE

Brothers and Sisters,

In regards to yesterdays very unfortunate accident your union is asking for your assistance. We would like to collect money for our injured brother and his family and our looking for volunteers from each shift in each department to take up the collection. Anyone wishing to help out please call the office and talk to Mike Day or email at m.day@usw5890.com. We have thought about a go fund me page but have decided as this will all go directly to them this is the best option.

In solidarity.

Fight Against U.S. Anti-Dumping and CVD Trade Tariffs on Canadian Fabricated Structural Steel

MARKHAM, Ontario, Feb. 05, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC) strongly opposes the Petitions for the imposition of antidumping and countervailing duties on certain fabricated structural steel from Canada, filed by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) on February 4, 2019.

“AISC’s allegations that these products from Canada are unfairly traded and cause injury to U.S. producers of fabricated steel products are baseless,” says Ed Whalen, President & CEO of the CISC. “The negative effects of the Section 232 steel tariffs are the more likely cause of injury for the U.S. downstream steel sector, not Canada. Canada and the U.S. have been in each other’s markets for generations.”

Canadian fabricators of structural steel compete fairly in worldwide markets, including the United States. We offer high quality fabricated steel produced with significant experience in design and engineering with unique design-assist/engineering capabilities, delivered timely to customers. In addition, a significant number of Canadian fabricators have made important investments in the United States, such as establishing American subsidiaries and affiliates that produce fabricated structural steel and employ U.S. workers.

We are confident that the investigations will prove that imports from Canada are fairly traded and cause no injury to U.S. producers. We will vigorously defend our industry’s interests in these investigations.

BACKGROUND
On February 4, 2019, the AISC launched a trade action against China, Mexico and Canada on certain fabricated structural steel products. The U.S. Department of Commerce will be investigating these three countries for evidence of dumped and subsidized products. The U.S. International Trade Commission will be investigating whether the U.S. industry is being materially injured or threatened with material injury from the subject imports.

ABOUT CISC
The Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC) is Canada’s voice for the steel construction industry, providing leadership in sustainable design, advocacy, construction, efficiency, quality and innovation. The CISC’s efforts aim to advance the use and benefits of steel, increase Canadian market share, as well as advocate for a diverse community made up of manufacturers, fabricators, service centres, erectors, consultants, detailers, industry suppliers, owners and developers.

The Canadian steel construction sector is a vibrant $5 billion industry, which employs over 130,000 people in its supply chain.

American Institute of Steel Construction files antidumping petitions on Canadia imports of fabricated structural steel

The American Institute of Steel Construction, LLC (petitioner), on February 4, 2019, filed antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) petitions on imports of certain fabricated structural steel from Canada, China and Mexico.

The U.S. AD law imposes special tariffs to counteract imports that are sold in the United States at less than “normal value.” The U.S. CVD law imposes special tariffs to counteract imports that are sold in the United States with the benefit of foreign government subsidies. For AD/CVD duties to be imposed, the U.S. government must determine not only that dumping and/or subsidies are occurring, but also that there is “material injury” (or threat thereof) by reason of the dumped and/or subsidized imports. Importers are liable for any potential AD/CVD duties imposed. In addition, these investigations could impact purchasers by increasing prices and/or decreasing supply of certain fabricated structural steel.

Scope

The merchandise covered by this investigation includes carbon and alloy (including stainless) steel products such as angles, columns, beams, girders, plates, flange shapes (including manufactured structural shapes utilizing welded plates as a substitute for rolled wide flange sections), channels, hollow structural section (HSS) shapes, base plates, plate-work components, and other steel products that have been fabricated for assembly or installation into a structure (fabricated structural steel). Fabrication includes, but is not limited to, cutting, drilling, welding, joining, bolting, bending, punching, pressure fitting, molding, adhesion, and other processes.

Fabricated structural steel products included in the scope of this investigation are products in which: (1) iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements; and (2) the carbon content is two percent or less by weight.

Fabricated structural steel is covered by the scope of the investigation regardless of whether it is painted, varnished, or coated with plastics or other metallic or non-metallic substances. Fabricated structural steel may be either assembled; disassembled, but containing characteristics or items, such as holes, fasteners, nuts, bolts, rivets, screws, tongue and grooves, hinges, or joints, so that the product(s) may be joined, attached, or assembled to one or more additional product(s); or partially assembled, such as into modules, modularized construction units, or sub-assemblies of fabricated structural steel.

Products under investigation include carbon and alloy steel products that have been fabricated for erection or assembly into structures, including but not limited to, buildings (commercial, office, institutional, and multi-family residential); industrial and utility projects; parking decks; arenas and convention centers; medical facilities; and ports, transportation and infrastructure facilities.

Subject merchandise includes fabricated structural steel that has been assembled or further processed in the subject country or a third country, including but not limited to painting, varnishing, trimming, cutting, drilling, welding, joining, bolting, punching, bending, beveling, riveting, galvanizing, coating, and/or slitting or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the Investigation if performed in the country of manufacture of the fabricated structural steel.

Fabricated structural steel may be attached, joined, or assembled with non-steel components at the time of importation. The inclusion, attachment, joining, or assembly of non-steel components with fabricated structural steel does not remove the fabricated structural steel from the scope.

All products that meet the written physical description are within the scope of this investigation unless specifically excluded. Specifically excluded from the scope of this investigation is certain fabricated steel concrete reinforcing bar (“rebar”). Fabricated rebar is excluded from the scope only if (i) it is a unitary piece of fabricated rebar, not joined, welded, or otherwise connected with any other steel product or part; or (ii) it is joined, welded, or otherwise connected only to other rebar.

Also excluded from this scope is fabricated structural steel used for bridges and bridge sections. For the purpose of this scope, fabricated structural steel used for bridges and bridge sections is defined as fabricated structural steel that is used in bridges and bridge sections and that conforms to American Association of State and Highway and Transportation Officials (“AASHTO”) bridge construction requirements or any state or local derivatives of the AASHTO bridge construction requirements.

Also excluded from this scope are pre-engineered metal building systems. For the purposes of this scope, pre-engineered metal building systems are defined as complete metal buildings that integrate steel framing, roofing and walls to form one, pre-engineered building system and are designed and manufactured to Metal Building Manufacturers Association guide specifications. Pre-engineered metal building systems are typically limited in height to no more than 60 feet or two stories.

Also excluded from this scope are steel roof and floor decking systems designed and manufactured to Steel Deck Institute standards.

Also excluded from the scope are open web steel bar joists and joist girders that are designed and manufactured to Steel Joist Institute specifications.

The products subject to the investigation are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under subheadings: 7308.90.9590, 7308.90.3000, and 7308.90.6000.

The products subject to the investigation may also enter under the following HTSUS subheadings: 7216.91.0010, 7216.91.0090, 7216.99.0010, 7216.99.0090, 7228.70.6000, 7301.10.0000, 7301.20.1000, 7301.20.5000, 7308.40.0000, 7308.90.9530, and 9406.90.0030.

The HTSUS subheadings above are provided for convenience and customs purposes only. The written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

Alleged Dumping Margins

The petitioner alleges the following dumping margins:

  • Canada: 31.46 percent
  • Mexico: 41.39 percent
  • China: 218.85 percent

The petitioner identified numerous possible subsidy programs, but did not allege specific subsidy rates.

Estimated Schedule of Investigations

  • February 4, 2019 – Petition is filed
  • February 25, 2019 – DOC initiates investigation
  • February 26, 2019 – ITC staff conference
  • March 21, 2019 – Deadline for ITC preliminary injury determinations
  • May 1, 2019 – Deadline for DOC preliminary CVD determination, if not postponed
  • July 5, 2019 – Deadline for DOC preliminary CVD determination, if fully postponed
  • July 15, 2019 – Deadline for DOC preliminary AD determination, if not postponed
  • September 3, 2019 – Deadline for DOC preliminary AD determination, if fully postponed

Ottawa calls Ford gov’t call to drop retaliatory tariffs “unilateral surrender” to Americans

Ottawa dismissed a call from Ontario’s economic development minister Monday to drop retaliatory tariffs against the United States, saying doing so would mean “unilateral surrender” to the Americans.

The federal government applied tariffs on $16.6-billion worth of American imports of steel, aluminum and other products after the U.S. imposed steel and aluminum levies last year.

Ontario’s Economic Development Minister Todd Smith had said earlier on Monday that the tariffs are hurting industries and workers in both countries, and if Canada dropped its countermeasure tariffs the U.S. could drop theirs.

Federal Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains rejected the suggestion, saying in a statement that his government has been hard at work pressuring the Americans to end the trade dispute.

“The Ford government’s call for Canada to unilaterally and unconditionally remove its counter-tariffs would equal unilateral surrender to the Americans,” Bains wrote. “The reciprocal tariffs are critical to pressuring the Americans to end this dispute once and for all.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has discussed the tariffs over the phone with U.S. President Donald Trump and Finance Minister Bill Morneau has met with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Bains said the last time any Ontario official visited Washington was five months ago.

“While we’re standing up against illegal U.S. tariffs and supporting steel and aluminum workers in Ontario, Doug Ford’s government is nowhere to be seen,” Bains wrote. “We’re not aware of any efforts by the Ontario government to persuade any American leaders to drop the tariffs — no meetings, no phone calls.”

Smith noted that Premier Doug Ford met at the auto show in Detroit with car makers, who are concerned about the tariffs.

Doug Ford, Ontario’s premier, speaks during an event at the Economic Club of Canada in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. Cole Burston/Bloomberg

“We continue to burn up the phone lines in the U.S. to remind them that these tariffs are hurting them just as much as they’re hurting us,” he said. “Ontario is doing its part, now it’s time for the federal government to do theirs.”

Ford has suggested to the federal government that Canada’s tariffs should be dropped first, Smith said, though he admitted there is no indication doing so would lead the U.S. to in turn remove its tariffs.

“But clearly something has to be done,” Smith said. “These tariffs have been in place since June of last year and there’s been no movement on this.”

Smith and Quebec Economy and Innovation Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon sent a letter Monday to Morneau, calling on Ottawa to secure the permanent removal of all tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum.

Both Algoma Steel (TSX:AGA) and the Canadian Steel Producers Association tweeted that the retaliatory measures are necessary.

The tariffs were imposed last year by the U.S., and the American commerce secretary has said they were designed to address the world’s overproduction and overcapacity of steel. The federal Liberals were criticized last fall for signing a new North American trade pact, which includes the U.S., without securing any guarantees from Washington that it would lift the levies.

Ottawa has announced a financial aid package for industries caught in the crossfire, including up to $2 billion in new funding and support for workers in steel, aluminum and manufacturing sectors.

Canada has rejected the premise of the American duties — that its metals exports pose a national-security threat to the U.S. — and has been fighting for the removal of the tariffs.

The United States is also coming under pressure from American automakers, aluminum producers, manufacturers and farmers to put an end to the tariff standoff.

Industry emissaries are warning that Trump’s tariffs on Mexican and Canadian steel and aluminum, as well as their reciprocal countermeasures, are rapidly undermining whatever benefits the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement will produce once it takes effect.

Embassy is drafting a list of American officials for Trudeau’s ministers to lobby


Katie Simpson · CBC News · Posted: Jan 10, 2019

“Canada has engaged in a number of charm offensives … and so far, those efforts have yielded next to nothing” .

                                                                                                                                      -Marc Rowlinson

The prime minister’s inner circle is ramping up another lobbying push in Washington to terminate American tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Two senior government sources say that ministers with connections to American national security portfolios will be tasked with reaching out to specific U.S. officials to push Canada’s anti-tariff message.

The campaign is based on Canada’s long-standing position that the tariffs are both illegal and absurd.

Last June, the Trump administration invoked a rarely used national security provision — Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 — to impose 25 per cent tariffs on imported steel and 10 per cent tariffs on imported aluminum.

The tariffs are based on the argument that, in the event of a national emergency, the U.S. needs robust domestic steel and aluminum industries. Canada has openly attacked the tariffs, pointing out that Canada is not a threat to U.S. national security.

One source said the new lobbying campaign actually began when Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland met with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a visit to Washington in December.

Early in the new year, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan delivered a similar anti-tariff message over the phone to the new U.S. acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan​.

And Finance Minister Bill Morneau also made Canada’s case during a face-to-face meeting with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin in Washington yesterday.

Now, the lobbying push is seeking new targets. Officials at the Canadian embassy in Washington are drafting a list of influential Americans who may be open to Canada’s message.

Once that list is complete, individual ministers will be tasked with reaching out to those officials, by phone or in person, to press Canada’s case.

Both Freeland and Morneau will use the upcoming World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland as a forum to meet with their American counterparts and push them to nix the tariffs.

They won’t see U.S. President Donald Trump there. Trump announced on Twitter today that he would be skipping the forum to focus on the current federal government shutdown and a swelling dispute with House Democrats over his demand for a border wall.

Paul Moen, a principal at Earnscliffe Strategy Group and an international trade lawyer, said Canada’s strategy makes sense — but it should also reach out to business and labour leaders and the new faces in Congress who took office in the November midterm elections.

“With the new Congress in place, that’s a new opportunity to build some new relationships, build on some old ones, but also to broaden the engagement with the business community, with the labour community,” he told CBC News.

But Mark Rowlinson, a spokesman for United Steelworkers Canada, said the window for charm offensives has long since closed and it’s time for Canada to draw “a line in the sand” by refusing to ratify the revamped North American trade deal until the tariffs are dropped.

“I’m skeptical​,” he said. “It’s clearly the case that Canada has never posed a threat to U.S. national security, and I don’t think anyone on either side of the border has ever really taken that seriously. Canada has engaged in a number of charm offensives … and so far, those efforts have yielded next to nothing.

“What they should be doing is saying, ‘We will not sign, we will not ratify the new Canada-U.S.-Mexico trade agreement, unless and until these tariffs are dropped.”

In fact, neither of the two senior government sources who spoke to CBC News is optimistic that Trump will abandon his enthusiasm for tariffs any time soon.

On Tuesday, Trump tweeted a defence of his tariff policy by quoting an interview on Fox News with Mark Glyptis, a local president of the United Steelworkers union from West Virginia.

One of the sources said that Canada will be stepping away from any arguments that connect the tariffs to the updated North American free trade agreement.

Some American lawmakers and business leaders who oppose the tariffs have said publicly they should be dropped, since they were meant only to serve as leverage in the trade negotiations.

One of the sources told CBC that Canada doesn’t want to touch that argument because it’s too similar to the line Mexican officials are taking in their own push to end the American tariffs.

Canada does not want to be lumped in with Mexico, the source said, because Mexico might end up agreeing with American demands for export quotas on steel.

CBC News has reported that American trade officials want both Canada and Mexico to accept caps on how much steel they can import into the United States, based on a portion of what was imported in 2017.

“That’s crazy,” said the source, adding Canada will not entertain the idea of accepting quotas.

Texting

In the mail-out you received from the local regarding the C.A.T team and texting program, we just wanted to inform everyone that this is a NEW texting program. If you were signed up before on the old program you will need to sign up to this one. All the info is on the card in the mail-out.