Listing Canada among the countries that harm the United States aluminium industry is a mistake, and including Canadian producers in any quotas or tariffs would simply compound the error. So say leaders and representatives of the largest industrial labor union in North America.
Among the first to voice concerns over trade sanctions recommended in the United States Commerce Department’s Section 232 investigation report was United Steelworkers National Director Ken Neumann.
“There is no justification to include Canada with countries that systematically violate trade laws and engage in the dumping of illegally subsidized aluminum and steel,” he opined.
“The intent of the DOC’s report is to respond to countries whose trade practices represent a threat to U.S. national security.”
Though the report, which was released to the public last week, heaped praise upon the United States’ northern neighbor, USW representatives including Marty Warren, USW District 6 Director (Ontario and Atlantic Canada), sought to make clear that Canadian smelters are not causing the problems the report identified.
“The report, as well as testimony provided by expert witnesses during the investigation stage, demonstrate that Canada is not one of the ‘bad actor’ countries that threaten U.S. interests.”
USW representatives also pointed out the inextricable relationship enjoyed between the United States and Canada.
“Our economies are very closely intertwined and we hope the U.S. government won’t threaten the steel and aluminum industries by taking punitive action,” opined USW District 3 Director (Western Canada) Steve Hunt.
Enacting trade sanctions against Canadian producers may not only hurt Canadian interests, cautioned USW’s Quebec Director Alain Croteau, they may harm the United States economy as well.
“Imposing tariffs or quotas on Canadian exports will result in job losses in the U.S. manufacturing sector and will increase prices for many goods and products. Workers on both sides of the border will lose,” he explained.
Rather than acting against each other, Neumann urged lawmakers in Ottawa to team up with those in Washington to strike back at countries who unfairly manipulate the aluminium market.
“The government of Canada must act decisively to defend fair trade and the tens of thousands of Canadian families whose livelihoods depend on the aluminum and steel sectors,” he opined.
“The Canadian government should work with the U.S. in fighting the predatory and destructive trade practices of China and other bad actor countries.”