The head of Canada’s steelworkers’ union says the federal government should refuse to ratify the new North American trade deal until U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum have been lifted.
Ken Neumann told The West Block‘s Mercedes Stephenson that Ottawa needs to “draw a line in the sand” on the matter. It’s been nearly a year since the Trump administration imposed a 25 per cent tariff on imports of steel from Canada and 10 per cent on aluminum.
The measure prompted the Canadian government to impose $16.6 billion in retaliatory tariffs on American goods such as whiskey and washing machines.
Canada, the U.S., and Mexico spent more than a year renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, but the steel and aluminum tariffs were not resolved as part of the deal reached, known as the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA).
Neumann, the Canadian director for United Steelworkers, said last fall the union pushed the government not to sign CUSMA until the tariffs were removed but they went ahead anyway. “The fact now is the tariffs just continue to linger, and there’s a tremendous amount of damage that’s being done across this country,” Neumann said.
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