News, Developments and Information

Full impact of tariffs remains uncertain

Effects of a trade war sparked by the Trump administration’s recent tariffs on various imported materials and products continue to unfold.

The U.S. imposed tariffs on steel, aluminum and other goods from Canada, Mexico and the European Union in early June and on China in early July. These countries imposed tariffs on U.S. goods in retaliation.

The impact of steel and aluminum tariffs is particularly strong and far-reaching. Media reports say there is little foreign steel and aluminum coming into the U.S. now, allowing domestic producers to hike their prices.

Corey Sheets, co-owner of Meadows Mills Inc. in North Wilkesboro, said American steel manufacturers started raising prices when tariffs were simply mentioned. Plate steel prices are up 30 per cent and structural steel prices rose 20 per cent recently, he said.

Meadows Mills makes sawmills, agricultural implements, grain mills and other products, with mostly domestic sales currently. Sheets said the company’s sales are strong and costs may be leveling off. Continue reading Full impact of tariffs remains uncertain

U.S. Trade Representative insists that Canadian steel is a security threat – oh, but Canada isn’t an unfriendly neighbour/neighbor

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration’s point man on trade is doubling down on the decision to impose tariffs on Canadian steel, calling Canada’s industry a national security threat to the United States.

Under pointed questioning from a Senate committee, U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer is testifying today about the administration’s trade policy and 2019 budget.

Lighthizer is adamant that Canadian steel remains a national security threat to the United States requiring the tariffs imposed earlier this year.

He says no one in the administration is declaring war on Canada or calling the country an unfriendly neighbour.

If the Americans want to protect their domestic steel and aluminum industry, he says the administration can’t exempt one country like Canada and allow steel to flow through its borders and into the United States.

Canada imposed retaliatory tariffs on a slew of American products this month after Trump slapped tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum.

Investigation launched into corrosion-resistant steel sheet from China, Chinese Taipei, India and South Korea

OTTAWA, July 26, 2018 /CNW/ – The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) announced today that it is launching an investigation into whether or not certain corrosion-resistant steel sheet originating in or exported from China, Chinese Taipei, India and South Korea is being sold at unfair prices in Canada.

The investigation is the result of a complaint filed by ArcelorMittal Dofasco G.P., located in Hamilton, Ontario. The complaint is supported by Stelco Inc. The complainant alleges that the Canadian industry is facing increasing volumes of dumped subject goods, lost sales, price undercutting, price depression, negative financial results, underutilized production capacity, reduced employment, and threat to continuous investments.

Currently, there are 101 special import measures in force, covering a wide variety of products, from steel to refined sugar. These measures have directly helped to protect the Canadian economy and jobs in Canada.

Quick Facts

  • The subject goods are corrosion-resistant flat-rolled steel sheet products of carbon steel including products alloyed with certain elements. For more product information, please refer to the CBSA’s website.
  • Corrosion-resistant steel sheet is commonly used in the production of a range of goods such as farm buildings, grain bins, culverts, garden sheds, roofing material, siding, floor decks, roof decks, wall studs, drywall corner beads, doors, door frames, ducting (and other heating and cooling applications), flashing, hardware products and appliance components. Corrosion-resistant steel sheet for use in automobiles and automobile parts is not included in this investigation.
  • The CBSA and the Canadian International Trade Tribunal(CITT) both play a role in the investigation. The CITT will begin a preliminary inquiry to determine whether the imports are harming Canadian producers and will issue a decision by September 24, 2018.
  • Concurrently, the CBSA will investigate whether the imports are being sold in Canadaat unfair prices, and will make a preliminary decision by October 24, 2018.
  • A copy of the Statement of Reasons, which provides more details about the investigation, will be available on the CBSA’s website at cbsa.gc.ca/sima-lmsiwithin 15 days.
  • To address the evolving nature of trade and to ensure the well-being of industries like steel that are essential to the Canadian economy, Canadais modernizing its trade remedy system. As part of our commitment, the CBSA is working to strengthen our trade remedy systems, improve transparency and coordinate our efforts against unfair trade practices.
  • In 2017, the Canadian steel industry employed more than 23,000 Canadians and contributed $4.2 billionto Canada’sgross domestic product (GDP). The Canadian aluminum industry employed 10,500 workers while contributing $4.7 billion to Canada’s These industries are vital suppliers to the Canadian manufacturing, energy, automotive and construction industries.

Court against company that fired worker over drug test results

An appeals court has ruled against a company that fired an employee for failing a drug test. The judgment by the Newfoundland & Labrador Court of Appeal is the first since Parliament voted to legalize marijuana.

Justice Gale Welsh dismissed an appeal by the Hibernia Platform Employers’ Organization over the firing of Gary Carroll, a longtime helicopter deck hand on a Hibernia rig. Carroll tested positive for banned tranquilizers under a company Drug And Alcohol Policy permitting tests “after a significant incident or a safety incident as determined by management.” The test followed repeated complaints of misplaced luggage aboard choppers that ferried crew from the offshore platform.

Unifor Local 2121 challenged Carroll’s firing as disproportionate, and the drug test as unnecessary. An arbitration board and lower court agreed, ruling misplaced luggage was not so serious a “safety incident” that it justified testing all eight helicopter deck hands on duty. Unifor argued managers conducted so many drug tests after trivial incidents that it “amounted to random drug testing” in breach of a 2013 Supreme Court ruling that tests could only be performed with cause and consent.

“The employer submits that the board’s decision was unreasonable because the interpretation of the Drug And Alcohol Policy resulted in an interference with management’s right to order drug testing,” wrote Justice Welsh. The Court dismissed the company’s appeal.

The Senate by a June 19 vote of 52 to 29 passed into law Bill C-45 An Act Respecting Cannabis. The legislation to take effect October 17 legalizes recreational marijuana, including public possession of up to 30 grams of dried cannabis. Employers’ groups unsuccessfully appealed to Parliament to amend the bill to permit random workplace drug tests. Continue reading Court against company that fired worker over drug test results

Top American brands say trade war is eating into their profits

Some of the largest companies in America are reporting that they are suffering the sting of the Trump administration’s trade war, sounding alarm in an otherwise prosperous economy.

Midway through the corporate earnings season, companies across a broad array of industries are citing tariffs, particularly those imposed on aluminum and steel, as the culprit for lower profits, higher prices for consumers and even sweeping changes in their planning and operations, such as moving production out of China.

Goods as varied as whiskey and My Little Pony, washing machines and Maseratis are caught in the crossfire of a trade war that has brewed for months. Since March, Trump has levied tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of steel and aluminum imports from China, Canada, Mexico, the European Union, Japan and other nations. He is also threatening to impose tariffs on cars and uranium.

Some worry that the tariffs could disrupt a healthy economy that, so far, has kept an even keel amid President Trump’s Twitter storms, a rise in oil prices and anticipation that the Federal Reserve will keep notching up interest rates. Despite Washington’s chaos, reliably strong corporate earnings have provided a ballast in U.S. financial markets since the prospect of a trade war emerged. Continue reading Top American brands say trade war is eating into their profits

Tim Weisgerber

Brothers and Sisters

It is with great sadness that we have learned of the passing of our Brother Tim Weisgerber. Tim was a great Friend, co-worker and brother who started in Tubular in 1991. Tim will be missed by all who knew him.Our condolences and thoughts are with his Family and Friends. Brothers and Sisters, please take the time to remember our fallen brother. Rest In Peace Timmy!!!

Once we learn of a service or ceremony information will be passed on.

 

CBSA/ASFC: $1.8-million assessed in anti-dumping duty to help protect Canadian steel producers

NEWS PROVIDED BY

Canada Border Services Agency

 

OTTAWA, July 24, 2018 /CNW/ – The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) announced today retroactive assessments of anti-dumping duty on importations of steel rebar from Turkey under the Special Import Measures Act (SIMA). SIMA helps to protect Canadian producers from injurious dumping and is one of Canada’s principal trade policy instruments.

On July 18, 2018, the CBSA issued assessments of anti-dumping duty against two importations of steel rebar from Turkeythat arrived in Canada in 2017. The total amount of anti-dumping duty retroactively assessed by the CBSA was over $1.8 million.

Recent regulatory changes and allocated funding will allow the CBSA to continue to strengthen its capacity to investigate trade-related complaints, including those related to steel and aluminum.

The CBSA reminds exporters of goods subject to a SIMA finding that they must inform the CBSA of changes to their domestic prices, costs, and market conditions associated with the goods and should adjust their selling prices to Canada accordingly. Failure to do so may result in the retroactive assessment of anti-dumping duty under SIMA.

Quote

“The Government of Canada is working hard to ensure that Canada’s trade remedy measures are properly enforced. SIMA measures currently help protect 27,000 Canadian jobs and $9.9 billion in Canadian production.”

– The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Continue reading CBSA/ASFC: $1.8-million assessed in anti-dumping duty to help protect Canadian steel producers

Shift and Seniority Committee

Your Union is looking for anyone interested in joining their respective department Shift, Seniority and Overtime committee’s. Anyone interested is asked to email m.day@usw5890.com. Currently the Steel Division is Brad Gibbons and Bill Edwards and we would like to fill with members from other areas. The Tubular Division is Dwayne Mitchell, Mike Smith and Ryan Mckenzie and even though we would like to fill from members from the 2 inch or 24 inch specifically, everyone interested will be looked at.

Canada Eyes New Quotas, Tariffs to Halt Flood of Diverted Steel

 

Canada is considering both quotas and tariffs to stop a spike in imports of foreign steel being diverted from the U.S. by Donald Trump’s trade policies, the industry minister said.

Navdeep Bains, speaking by phone from the Farnborough International Airshow, said Justin Trudeau’s government is weighing so-called safeguard measures to curb the influx of cheap foreign steel and could expand the list of products as needed. It previously identified three — energy tubular, steel plates and rebar — but the minister said that was only a first step.

“We did that based on the data and the information that we have” Bains said Monday. “That by no means is the final list so we’ll look at what option, either tariff or quotas, that we need.”

Canada is among the countries on the front lines of Trump’s trade fight, having imposed retaliatory tariffs on C$16.6 billion ($12.6 billion) worth of American goods after the U.S. imposed levies of 25 percent and 10 percent on steel and aluminum, respectively. Canada is the top source of U.S. imports of both metals, and the world’s top buyer of U.S. goods. The northern nation has already taken steps to choke off any steel sneaking in for “transshipment” to the U.S., and safeguard quotas or tariffs would be the next step in that.

 

Bains said the initial three products were selected as a “demonstration of our understanding” of what was happening in the market already. Rebar, for instance, is used in residential construction, where some are warning the tariff fight could increase condo prices. The minister said he’s in talks with the steel sector on next steps and didn’t specify when any measures would be imposed.

Industry is pushing the government to move more quickly, and on more products. “We believe the government should be taking immediate and strong action and we believe the initial initiation of the safeguard should be fairly broad in scope,” Joseph Galimberti, president of the Canadian Steel Producers Association, said in a phone interview. In addition to the three products already identified, he said the government should add hot rolled sheet, pre-paint and wire rod.

 

Steel makers win in court challenge on Asian anti-dumping

The Federal Court of Appeal in a win for Canadian steelmakers has rejected a challenge of anti-dumping duties by Asian exporters. The Court said Chinese-made steel pipe transshipped through other countries could not evade duties.

“The final determination is made in relation to goods of a certain country and not goods of a certain exporter,” wrote Justice Wyman Webb; “The term ‘exporter’ is not defined in the Special Import Measures Act.”

The Canadian International Trade Tribunal in 2016 cited Japanese traders for dumping steel originating from state-owned mills in China. The Tribunal argued it “was important to look behind the transactions to see who knowingly provided the goods in issue for export to Canada,” the Court noted.

“The goods were dumped during the period under review, and the margin of dumping for the same period was not insignificant,” wrote Justice Webb. The Canada Border Services Agency beginning in 2008 imposed anti-dumping duties of up to 396 percent on Chinese steel products as a threat to Canadian manufacturers.

The 2016 duties were unsuccessfully challenged by a coalition of Japanese exporters including Nippon Steel, JFE Steel, Sumitomo Metal Corp. and others. Local steelmakers that sought the anti-dumping duties included Evraz Inc., a steel pipe manufacturer with facilities in Regina, Red Deer and Camrose, Alta.

Evraz CEO Conrad Winkler in 2017 testimony at the Commons trade committee said price-cutting by Chinese mills had cost Canadian jobs. “Free trade must be fair,” said Winkler.

“China has heavily subsidized and overbuilt its steel industry,” said Winkler. “China has more than 60 percent of the global steel overcapacity, and exports more than ten times the soze of the Canadian market annually.”

“Evraz has suffered job losses due to dumped and subsidized Chinese steel,” said Winkler; “We have to be at the top of our game every day to make a very small margin.”

The Court of Appeal decision follows an earlier ruling by the Trade Tribunal that cited South Korean shippers for price-cutting on steel pipe. Korean imports to Canada increased 580 percent in a single year, 2016, after regulators cited Chinese steel mills for similar unfair trade practices.

Canada has run a trade deficit in steel since 1996. National steel output as a portion of world production has fallen by half in the past 20 years.The Tribunal found the flood of Asian imports triggered a 22 percent price drop in steel product.

 

3 Day Layoff

Based on the current Coil situation the company is going to be using the 3 day layoff clause {Article 12.13} in the 2″ mill on Wed July 11th- July 12th and resume welding on July 16th.

The 24” will be out of Coil Wednesday mid-morning, at this point they have enough WIP to work through to get us to our Thursday coil delivery additionally management will be re-directing some 24” finishing bodies to cut Curve sets outside the lab to ease the large quantity of samples waiting to be cut in front of the lab.

‘Extraordinary’ Canada-U.S. trade fight brings lobbyists “out of the woodwork”

‘Extraordinary’ Canada-U.S. trade spat brings lobbyists ‘out of the woodwork’

By SAMANTHA WRIGHT ALLEN      JUL. 4, 2018

Fearing more Canadian tariffs against other countries, some steel users are hiring lobbyists for the first time.

The growing trade war between Canada and the United States prompted almost three-dozen new filings in the federal lobbyist registry over the last two months as Canada plotted its response to U.S.-imposed steel and aluminum tariffs.

Even with Canada’s retaliatory tariffs kicking in July 1, lobbyists are predicting the uptick will continue in Ottawa as groups jockey against more expected tariffs to be imposed on other countries.

Of the 86 registrations that mention steel or aluminum as of July 3, 32 were created in the last two months for the first time. A further 13 were created earlier this year and 67 were updated this year, many of which specifically refer to Canada’s response to steel and aluminum tariffs as a key point the registrants plan to lobby officials on. Several companies have multiple registrations with several consultants at the same firm.

On Canada Day, up to $16.6-billion in retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products came into effect, affecting everything from mattresses to ballpoint pens to toilet paper. The Canadian government says this matches the volume of trade affected by U.S. tariffs imposed the month before, tacking 25 per cent onto steel and 10 per cent onto aluminum products headed south. Continue reading ‘Extraordinary’ Canada-U.S. trade fight brings lobbyists “out of the woodwork”

Global Affairs Canada release on aluminum and steel package

Canada stands up for our steel and aluminum workers and industry

June 29, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada

Canada’s steel and aluminum industries have made North American steel and aluminum more competitive around the world. It is inconceivable and completely unacceptable to view any trade with Canada as a national security threat to the United States.

The U.S. has a US $2 billion annual trade surplus on iron and steel products with Canada. Canada buys more American steel than any other country in the world, accounting for 50 per cent of U.S. exports. Canadian steel is used in American tanks, and Canadian aluminum in American planes. Indeed, Canada is recognized in U.S. law as part of the U.S. National Technology and Industrial Base related to National Defence.

Today the Government of Canada announced that in direct, measured and proportional response to U.S. tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum, reciprocal surtaxes on $16.6 billion of imports of steel, aluminum and other products from the United States will come into effect July 1, 2018.

Canada continues to work towards full and permanent removal of these unjustified and illegal U.S. tariffs. Continue reading Global Affairs Canada release on aluminum and steel package

Canada’s counter-tariffs and support for industry and communities a ‘first’ step – Steelworkers

TORONTO, 29 June 2018 – “The counter-tariff and community support measures announced today by the federal government is a good first step that will need to be expanded if the trade dispute continues beyond the short-term,” said Ken Neumann, United Steelworkers (USW) National Director.

 

“The unreasonable imposition of steel and aluminum tariffs by Donald Trump is harmful to communities and workers on both sides of the border. As we have continually said: Canada is not the problem. The balanced and integrated trade between Canada and the U.S. is the wrong target,” said Neumann.

 

The problem lies with the bad actors on the international scene, such as China, that dump metals, manipulate currency and have dramatically unbalanced trade.

 

A dollar-for-dollar response to those tariffs is a necessary and prudent reaction to the unprovoked aggression.

 

The announced assistance to industry via loan guarantees ($1.7B) and innovation funds ($250M) will be helpful to the steel and aluminum industries. The assistance to workers is much more modest.

 

The adjustment to Employment Insurance for affected workers (work share duration increased to 76 weeks) is welcome. However, more can be done, such as eliminating the different hours needed to qualify for EI and extending the total length a worker can receive EI.

 

We also need to be looking at additional measures such as an active monitoring mechanism to respond to the tariffs’ effectiveness. If this dispute continues, we will need to consider more supports for training and mobility, such as grants to assist workers in relocation and new opportunities.

 

“It is important the community/workers support measures are implemented immediately and extend as long as necessary,” said Neumann.

 

An important aspect the USW has been emphasizing is the safeguard of our borders against the products being dumped into Canada. We would like to see immediate safeguards, rather than simply further consultation on the issue announced today.

 

Freeland tells Trade Committee that steel and aluminum “support package” is coming

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says the Canadian government is working on a support package for this country’s steel and aluminum industries in light of stiff American import tariffs.

In testimony in front of the House of Commons trade committee Tuesday, Freeland acknowledged direct support for workers was needed. The minister was joined by senior department officials, including Canada’s Chief NAFTA Negotiator Steve Verheul.

“It is absolutely the case that our steel and aluminum…industries need our support,” she said, noting Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Industry Minister NavDeep Bains are “working on ways” to support the two sectors.

Canada and the United States are embroiled in an escalating trade war. U.S. President Donald Trump has publicly criticized Canadian trade practices. Continue reading Freeland tells Trade Committee that steel and aluminum “support package” is coming

Trade

OTTAWA — A new analysis of escalating trade disputes involving the United States warns that a deterioration into an all-out, global trade war would knock North America’s economies into recession.

The report by Scotiabank said if the U.S. breaks all trade ties with its partners — and imposes across-the-board tariffs that average 20 per cent — then Canada and Mexico would see their economies contract in 2020.

For Canada, it predicts the economy would shrink 1.8 per cent.

“A ramp-up in protectionism in the U.S. results in a negative impact on growth in each of the NAFTA partners’ economies,” said the report, co-authored by Scotiabank’s Brett House, Juan Manuel Herrera, Rene Lalonde and Nikita Perevalov.

This worst-case scenario is one of several potential outcomes examined by Scotiabank. Continue reading Trade

NDP gov’t seeking feedback on changes to enviro assessment and impact of major resource projects

VANCOUVER—The B.C. government has opened the doors for public feedback on proposed changes to the environmental assessment regime, which considers the impact of major resource projects on the environment and communities.

Premier John Horgan tasked Environment Minister George Heyman with updating the assessment process last summer to ensure a “strong, transparent” process that respects the legal rights of First Nations.

It was “about time,” Gavin Smith, a lawyer with West Coast Environmental Law, said in a blog post earlier this year, “because our current approach to assessment and planning in B.C. is not working.” Continue reading NDP gov’t seeking feedback on changes to enviro assessment and impact of major resource projects

NDP: THE CPTPP TRADE DEAL WILL COST CANADA TENS OF THOUSANDS OF JOBS

The implementing legislation for the Trans-Pacific Partnership was tabled today despite the overwhelming evidence that this trade deal is a betrayal to Canadian workers, the manufacturing sector, and our supply management system. The CPTPP will put 58 000 Canadian jobs at risk and jeopardize both the auto industry and supply managed sectors. The NDP urges the Liberal government to put workers first during this difficult time and not accept this trade deal, which has a weak economic forecast according to the government’s own impact analysis.

“If this deal is implemented, tens of thousands of Canadian jobs will be at risk. When negotiating trade deals, the Liberals cannot sacrifice good paying jobs in the Canadian auto industry and farmers in supply managed sectors, such as dairy, poultry, and eggs,” said Tracey Ramsey, the NDP International Trade Critic.

Despite the “progressive” label in the name of the deal, the CPTPP has no gender chapter, weak labour provisions, no Indigenous consent, no environmental protections, and the weakest cultural language ever in a trade agreement. The deal also has low environmental standards, which will further prevent Canada from meeting our climate change commitments, and regressive investor-state dispute settlement provisions, which significantly undermine Canada’s sovereignty and its ability to regulate in the public interest.

“The Liberals negotiated the CPTPP behind closed doors. Piece by piece, Canadians have learned the extent of the problems with this deal. The NDP urges the Liberals to stand up for Canadian workers and refuse trade deals that will cost our country tens of thousands of jobs. Simply put, the CPTPP is a bad deal for Canada,” said Karine Trudel, NDP Deputy International Trade Critic.