OTTAWA, Feb. 20, 2019 /CNW/ - The United Steelworkers union (USW) welcomes a Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) ruling that Canada's steel industry has been harmed by illegal dumping of steel pipe by Vietnam, Pakistan, Turkey and the Philippines.
The CITT ruling follows a complaint by Montreal-based pipe manufacturer Nova Tube and testimony delivered by USW members during hearings held by the tribunal in January. The Steelworkers testified that Canadian workers and producers are facing job losses and considerable uncertainty due to foreign dumping and the imposition of 25% U.S. tariffs on Canadian steel.
The CITT has ruled that Vietnam, Pakistan, Turkey and the Philippines have illegally dumped carbon steel welded pipe, more commonly known as standard pipe, in Canada, and "the dumping of the above-mentioned goods … has caused injury to the domestic industry."
The CITT has ruled that standard pipe from the Philippines, Pakistan, Turkey and Vietnam will be subject to tariffs ranging from 46% to 66% for the next 5 years.
"Dumping has been a long-standing problem for our factory," said Alain Duhamel, President of USW Local 2423, which represents 65 workers at Nova Tube's Montreal plant.
"The situation has become more precarious since the U.S. tariffs were imposed on our steel. Foreign pipes that previously entered the United States are now flooding the Canadian market, while it is also more difficult to sell our products on the American market because of the U.S. tariffs. So we are doubly affected. This is what we explained to the Tribunal, which has responded to the impact of dumping on our workers," said Duhamel, who testified before the CITT last month.
"When we put faces to the human impact of these trade issues, it can have a more tangible effect and the tribunal recognized this impact," said Alain Croteau, the Steelworkers' Quebec Director, noting the union fought for the right to testify in such trade cases, which was granted only last year.
"The United Steelworkers is the only union that is participating in such hearings. We continue to be vigilant for our key economic sectors affected by the current trade war in the United States and its collateral damage such as dumping," Croteau said.
"The key problem facing Canadian workers, producers and communities continues to be the baseless and illegal U.S. tariffs of 25% on Canadian steel and 10% on Canadian aluminum," said USW Canadian Director Ken Neumann.
"Canada's government must take stronger action to defend Canadian workers and communities against these absurd U.S. tariffs," Neumann said. "The federal government must be clear that it will not ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement unless the U.S. tariffs are lifted," Neumann said.
A strong majority of Canadians – nearly two-thirds – want the federal government to stand up to the Trump administration, Neumann said.
A public-opinion poll by Vector Research and Development shows that 63% of Canadians agree the Liberal government should refuse to ratify the USMCA until the U.S. tariffs are lifted.
Even with the most-recent CITT ruling on dumping by foreign producers, Canadian manufacturers such as Nova Tube and their workers continue to face considerable uncertainty, Duhamel said.
"We're not out of the woods," he said, noting workers at Nova Tube negotiated a one-year collective agreement last year due to uncertainty in the industry and now they face renewed negotiations under similar circumstances.
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information: Ken Neumann, USW National Director, 416-544-5951; Bob Gallagher, USW Communications (Toronto), 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, [email protected]; Clairandrée Cauchy, USW Communications, (Montreal), 514-774-4001, [email protected]