Posted on Friday May 24, 2019 at 10:29 a.m.
Cancelled steel tariff good news for local mill
Cancellation of the U.S. tariff on Canadian steel was good news for steelworkers at Ivaco Rolling Mill in L’Orignal.
“It did start off the long weekend pretty good,” said Richard Leblanc, local union spokesman for United Steelworkers Canada (USC).
Ivaco and the USC issued a joint news release expressing their relief at an agreement between Canada and the United States to cancel the 25 per cent tariff placed on Canadian steel a year ago by President Donald Trump.
“The removal of these tariffs is great news to our workers and community,” stated the news release.
The Friday before the May long weekend, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that he and President Trump had worked out an agreement for elimination “within 48 hours” of the tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum which the president had imposed in June 2018.
Trump had claimed “national security concerns” for the 25 per cent tariff on steel and 10 per cent tariff on aluminum imports from Canada, while at the time both countries were deadlocked on negotiations for a treaty to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. In return for lifting the steel and aluminum tariffs, Canada would remove the retaliatory tariffs it had imposed on a variety of U.S. products.
The steel tariff over the past year had an impact on Ivaco’s operations. In April the company announced layoffs of 50 workers as a result of the tariff’s effect on its U.S. market. Removal of the tariff may result in the company rehiring but that will depend on sales of steel products during the next few months.