On June 1, 2018, the U.S. Commerce Department imposed a 25 per cent tariff on Canadian steel and a 10 per cent tariff on Canadian aluminum under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act, citing national security concerns. In response, the Canadian government immediately imposed dollar-to-dollar retaliatory tariffs on a variety of U.S. products.

Quebec and British Columbia are major suppliers of aluminum while Ontario is a supplier of steel and automobiles. Unifor represents more than 40,000 workers in the auto industry and an additional 8,000 members in Canada’s steel, aluminum and related metalworking industries. This includes roughly 3,700 members working for Rio Tinto-Alcan operations in Saguenay, Quebec as well as Kitimat, B.C. Unifor also represents 3,500 workers in various metalworking facilities, including 350 members working at Evraz Steel in Alberta and 500 steel parts workers at ArcellorMittal in Woodstock, Ontario.

Unifor is calling on the federal government to take all necessary measures to stop these unfair duties and support the workers and industries affected by these tariffs. The union demands the full removal of U.S. tariffs on current Canadian exports without any quantity restrictions or limitations on Canadian export growth.

Additionally, the union is asking Members of Parliament to commit to work with the U.S. and other allies to confront the challenge of a global aluminum surplus, in a constructive, multilateral forum. 

Unifor aluminum workers lobby for tariff removal – November 6, 2018 

Unifor welcomes metal sector support and retaliatory tariffs – June 29, 2018

Unifor’s submission on Steel and Aluminum Tariffs – June 15, 2018

Unifor supports full retaliation against U.S. Tariffs - May 31, 2018

Trump holds Canadian steel and aluminum NAFTA hostage – March 5, 2018

Without tariff exemption Canada must withdraw from NAFTA – March 2, 2018

Statement on U.S. tariffs to aluminum and steel and threats to good jobs and Canada’s economy – March 2, 2018

For more on Unifor’s position on trade visit unifor.org/peoplestrade.


Workers smelt aluminum.