The U.S. Department of Commerce recently imposed a 266 per cent duty on steel imports from China, taking action against dumped foreign imports that hurt the production, shipments and margins of U.S. steelmakers – a move that needs to be mirrored in Canada, announced David Orazietti, MPP.
“I commend the U.S. government for taking this strong action against steel dumping by targeting these unfairly traded products,” said Orazietti. “The negative effects of steel dumping are being felt directly by our Canadian producers, suppliers and workers who are losing their livelihoods. Our federal government needs to step up and modernize our outdated trade legislation and tariff policies before it is too late.”
Canada’s weak and outdated trade remedy system, which is over 30 years old, fails to address new and emerging issues and is in dire need of an overhaul in order to ensure Canadian steel remains competitive in today’s global economy.
The former Federal Conservative Government ignored this issue, and their appointees on the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) have failed to recognize the harm being done to Canadian producers, most recently deciding that Canadian steel plate production is not being injured by dumped and subsidized steel imports from countries like China.
The United States is not alone in taking steps to remedy this issue. The European Union is also taking a stand against steel dumping, recently announcing provisional anti-dumping duties of up to 26 per cent on steel being imported from China and Russia. Even India has taken action to protect local producers, by imposing duties of up to 57.4 per cent on steel imports from China, while the Canadian Government has yet to acknowledge a problem exists.
“The Canadian Steel Producers Association (CSPA) has put forward suggested improvements that would substantially improve Canada’s trade remedy system, however the federal government needs to recognize this as a significant problem,” said Orazietti. “We can’t continue to ignore this issue and allow Canadian steel workers’ jobs to be put at risk, which is why I am calling on the federal government to step up and take action to ensure that our steel sector remains competitive in today’s global market.”
The Canadian Government needs to immediately adopt the Trade Remedy Modernization plan outlined by the Canadian Steel Producers Association (CSPA), whose proposed changes will help ensure a fair trade environment for Canadian steel workers.
The Canadian steel industry directly employs over 20,000 workers whose jobs are being seriously threatened by the dumping of foreign steel. In fact, two of only three fully integrated steel producers in Canada have filed for protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA); Essar Steel Algoma on November 9, 2015 and U.S. Steel Canada (formerly Stelco) a year earlier. These unfortunate developments have occurred while off-shore producers continue to dump steel produced by state-owned and subsidized operations, with far greater carbon emissions and limited labour protections.
The time for action is now. To voice your support for fair trade rules for Canadian steel producers, sign the petition at http://www.FairTradeForSteel.ca