TORONTO & MONTREAL--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Canadian government must respond swiftly with retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products following President Donald Trump’s misguided imposition of tariffs on Canadian aluminum exports, the United Steelworkers (USW) union says.
The Trump Administration’s imposition of aluminum tariffs comes only weeks after the Canada-U.S.-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) came into effect last month. It also flies in the face of an agreement reached last year between the Canadian and American governments regarding tariffs, the USW says.
“The Trump administration is flouting the May 2019 agreement between the U.S. and Canada which removed baseless Section 232 ‘national security’ tariffs on Canadian exports at that time. The re-imposition today of these bogus U.S. tariffs on Canadian aluminum is now threatening thousands of Canadian jobs,” said USW National Director Ken Neumann.
“The Canadian government must respond with retaliatory tariffs on a wide range of U.S. exports, given the Trump administration’s disregard for the 2019 agreement and the absence of any justification for ‘national security’ tariffs on Canadian aluminum,” Neumann said.
“It is now time for Canada to stand up for Canadian aluminum workers.”
The 2019 agreement that lifted the previous tariffs was reached following an aggressive lobbying campaign led by the USW in both countries.
“Our union fought for more than a year, on both sides of the border, to oppose those tariffs. Having to fight this same battle again is unconscionable,” said Dominic Lemieux, USW Director in Quebec, where the vast majority of aluminum plants in Canada are located.
“Canada and the United States benefit from an integrated aluminum market. Canadian aluminum producers engage in fair trade and do not pose any national security threat to the U.S.,” Lemieux said.
“Our two countries have a strong, longstanding, productive trading relationship. We know that Canada is not the problem facing the U.S.,” said USW International President Thomas M. Conway.
“From Day One in the discussion about Section 232 actions on steel and aluminum, we have opposed tariffs on Canada. We continue to advocate for negotiated solutions between our two countries that preclude tariffs and build on our great trading relationship,” Conway said.