OTTAWA – On Monday, NDP Leader, Jagmeet Singh, was joined by steelworkers in urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau not to sign the new United States Mexico Canada Agreement trade deal until the U.S. administration lifts its illegal tariffs on steel and aluminium.
“How can Canada sign a replacement to NAFTA that gives major concessions to the Trump Administration when thousands of Canadian workers are still being hit with these massive trade tariffs?” asked Singh. “We should not sign this deal with the steel and aluminum tariffs remaining. We are losing our greatest opportunity to eliminate this threat.”
There are 35,000 direct jobs and 140,000 indirect jobs in Canada that depend on the critical steel and aluminum sectors. Workers at Tenaris in Sault Ste. Marie were laid off immediately after the U.S. implemented tariffs it claimed were to ‘protect’ U.S. national security.
“These tariffs are illegal, and we should not be signing a deal without their removal. These industries pose no security threat to the United States and everyone knows it,” added NDP Trade Critic, Tracey Ramsey. “Workers are worried about their jobs and we shouldn’t be signing a deal that bows to the bully tactics of President Trump. There can be no signing of this deal without the removal of tariffs.”
After experiencing the impacts of those tariffs for months, many businesses say that if the tariffs remain in place, they will be forced to shut down, resulting in tens of thousands of workers losing their paycheques and livelihoods.
“Once these jobs disappear from our communities, they may never come back - and that’s not a risk Canadians can take,” said Marty Warren, United Steelworkers Director of District 6. “These jobs are good paying jobs and are vital for our families and our communities.”