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First of all – thank you for all of your hard work to reach the deal on the removal of the illegal, unjustified steel and aluminum tariffs! It has been a very difficult year and I know we are all breathing a sigh of relief to have finally reached a deal without quotas. I remain concerned, however, that as the agreement is written, loopholes exist which still allow President Donald Trump the ability to impose more tariffs if undefined surges exist.
We all know how devastating these Trump tariffs have been on businesses and good-paying, community-building jobs. I have been outspoken about the other measures the Government of Canada can and should be doing. These tariffs were a wake up call that we need to do everything we can to end illegal dumping and trans shipment. The first step needs to be a plan to use the $1.3B raised from our reciprocal tariffs to help working people and the businesses impacted.
The critical implementation of permanent steel safeguards by our Finance Minister needs to happen immediately. I was extremely disappointed that the Liberal government decided not to make the safeguards on steel products permanent, which further harms the steel and manufacturing jobs that have been at great risk since the tariffs were initially imposed. I believe it is of utmost importance to keep our steel and aluminum industries protected, and the safeguards help to do just that. Now is the time to push back against global dumping and overcapacity.
I have worked closely with everyone and will continue to do so as we work towards the rebuilding and strengthening of our steel and aluminum sector. This past year has been a roller coaster, and I’m pleased to have been able to introduce a study at committee that highlighted the reality of the tariffs and the much needed work going forward. My priorities have been and will continue to be working together to strengthen our steel and aluminum industries.
I am following the agreement closely, and as more details of the deal become available, I would be sincerely interested in hearing from you about what next steps the government should take with net strips, the distribution of duties collected as well as your opinion on the agreement reached to lift the tariffs.
As always, thank you for your constant efforts to protect good jobs and fight for our steel and aluminum sector!!
Tracey Ramsey, MP
NDP International Trade Critic
Also, please see below, for the NDP press release on the tariffs agreement sent out:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 17, 2019
NDP PRESSURE PAYS OFF: CANADA AND US REACH AGREEMENT TO LIFT STEEL AND ALUMINUM TARIFFS
ESSEX – New Democrats are pleased to hear that Canada and the US have reached an agreement to remove the illegal steel and aluminum tariffs imposed on Canada one year ago.
“The workers and businesses across our steel and aluminum sector have suffered greatly and fought tirelessly throughout a very difficult year to reach this point. I’m proud of our NDP efforts in the House of Commons, the Trade Committee and Washington to fight for these good-paying Canadian jobs,” said NDP International Trade Critic Tracey Ramsey.
The NDP has been working with many stakeholders and workers, pushing the government to have these tariffs lifted. We are reviewing the deal to ensure that the tariffs are completely eliminated and the threat of future tariffs are removed.
Ramsey notes, “These illegal tariffs have been in place for over a year and have been devastating to Canadian businesses and workers. The cost has been incredibly high and we have lost over 1,000 good-paying, community-building jobs while watching businesses close.
The government of Canada needs to recognize the harm already done to the sector and use the over $1 billion collected from the reciprocal tariffs to help rebuild. Going forward the government must impose permanent safeguard measures to prevent foreign dumping and finally implement a National Manufacturing and Automotive strategy to protect Canadian jobs.
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