USW Demands Canada, U.S., Mexico Act on Global Steel Over-Production

TORONTO, June 30, 2016 /CNW/ - Following the "Three Amigos" North American Leaders' Summit in Ottawa, United Steelworkers (USW) representatives are calling on Canada, the United States and Mexico to pursue greater, coordinated trade enforcement to end global steel over-production.

"While we welcome the Ottawa Summit agreement calling for an end to government subsidies that artificially maintain global excess steel production, greater action is needed to combat dumping and unfair competition," said USW Canadian Director Ken Neumann.

"The agreement to coordinate enforcement activities and confront the threats facing the North American steel industry is welcomed," said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. "Ensuring that our three countries have a comprehensive, coordinated strategy will help to address unfair trade practices.

"But the overarching issue is how to deal with global overcapacity in steel and other sectors, largely fueled by China's massive government support for these industries. China has made repeated promises to eliminate production and pursue market-based strategies. Each time, it has broken those promises.

"For North America to coordinate antidumping and countervailing duty strategies is important, but it's only part of the answer," Gerard said.

In a letter delivered by Ken Neumann to Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau, the USW is calling on the federal government to strengthen Canada's trade remedy system.

"Many of our key sectors, notably steel, aluminum and manufacturing have been profoundly affected by harmful, predatory trade practices. As such, we believe that it is of the utmost importance that Canada's current trade remedy system be strengthened and modernized," Neumann states in his letter to Morneau.

In modernizing its outdated trade laws, Canada must catch up to the U.S., the European Union, Australia and other jurisdictions by allowing trade unions to participate fully in the domestic trade remedy process to represent the interests of working families, the USW says.

"The current exclusion of trade unions from a formal role in Canada's trade remedy process is inconsistent with the essential role that Canadian workers play in the domestic production of goods in Canada," Neumann says in the letter to Morneau.

"Canadian workers and communities are affected daily by the effects of international trade and we submit that they should also have a voice in our trade remedy system to ensure that their jobs and livelihoods are protected."

The USW also has produced a research paper – The Case for Canada's Steel Industry – demonstrating how our domestic industry is under attack due to unfair trade practices and why government action is needed now.

Read the USW research paper here: The Case for Canada's Steel Industry.

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)

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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