OTTAWA, April 3, 2019 /CNW/ - Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau has only weeks to make steel safeguards final and ward off the decimation of thousands of Canadian jobs, the United Steelworkers (USW) union says.
"If existing safeguards are not finalized, a surge of foreign imports will devastate Canada's steel industry and communities across the country," USW National Director Ken Neumann said following a decision today by the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT).
The USW is disappointed in the CITT's recommendation that the Finance Minister impose safeguard measures on only two foreign steel products. The recommendation is not binding on the Finance Minister.
The USW is calling on Morneau to use his statutory authority to impose final safeguard measures on all seven steel products that are the subject of the safeguard inquiry. Otherwise, the safeguards will expire on April 27, reopening the Canadian market to a surge of imports.
Last October, temporary safeguards were imposed on the seven steel products to protect Canadian steel producers and workers from a surge in imports from countries shut out of the U.S. market by President Donald Trump's tariffs.
"These safeguards have been working since they were implemented last fall. The safeguards have had their desired effect and we're extremely concerned about the potential impact on Canadian workers and communities if they are removed," Neumann said.
"Minister Morneau and his government must act decisively, otherwise Canada will be wide open to a flood of imports of unfairly traded, illegally subsidized foreign steel from jurisdictions including China, Turkey and Vietnam," he said.
"Canadian jobs and communities are now at risk. If the federal government does not take strong action, we will stand alone in the world in leaving our workers, our communities and our steel industry at the mercy of a flood of damaging imports," Neumann said.
"Countries around the world, from the U.S. to Turkey, from Mexico to European Union members, have taken measures to protect their markets and their workers," Neumann noted.
"Minister Morneau not only has the statutory authority to act, he has a moral obligation to defend tens of thousands of Canadian jobs and hundreds of communities across the country."
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information: Ken Neumann, USW National Director, 647-999-3098; Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-434-2221, firstname.lastname@example.org