Evraz workers feel sense of job security with end of U.S. tariffs
The tariffs, 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum, had been in place on Canadian products since June 1, 2018. That extra cost caused issues for Regina’s Evraz steel mill, which regularly ships product south of the border.
With the end of the tariffs announced onFriday, local USW president Mike Day said this means there’s better job security with one of the Queen City’s top employers.
“It means job security. Our product, we need to get it to the U.S. So more job security. Right now our 24-inch mill is limping along because we can’t get our product to the United States. Hopefully, this helps,” Day said.
In Hamilton, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said there was no breakthrough moment in the negotiations. The prime minister said the deal is part of a sustained effort to have the tariffs fully lifted.
“I can only imagine what dealing with Donald Trump is like, so it’s gotta be tough,” Day chuckled. “The United Steelworkers on both sides of the border have put pressure on both federal governments, so I know Ralph [Goodale’s] probably tired of hearing from me.”
The next necessary steps in Day’s view are to ensure safeguards are in place to prevent to the practice of steel dumping. This involves inferior product from other areas flooding the Canadian market and making its way to the United States.
“That was the problem from the get-go,” Day said.
Evraz leadership is hopeful orders will begin to pick up soon now that the tariffs are on their way out. The company has operations on both sides of the border.
Regina Mayor Michael Fougere thanked Goodale and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland for their work on this issue. He added it is great news for the local economy and more than 1,000 employees at the local mill.
In a statement, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe echoed the above sentiments.
“Canada’s steel is among the most sustainably produced in the world, and we in Saskatchewan are proud that our steel products are an integral part of so many industries across North America. The removal of tariffs from our steel and aluminum products is a good step in strengthening jobs and economic growth, and removes barriers to Canada’s relationship with our most significant trading partner,” Moe said.
Moe will be travelling to Washington D.C. from May 20-23 to meet with senators and U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer.
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