Unifor and the Canadian forestry industry were vindicated on August 29 when the U.S. Independent Trade Commission (ITC) ruled that tariffs on Canadian-made newsprint were unwarranted.
“We were always confident that a sober, non-partisan look at the facts would show that these tariffs were totally unjustified,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President of the anti-dumping and countervailing tariffs that were first levied against Catalyst and Kruger mills in January 2018.
Unifor members and the communities of Cornerbrook N.L., Trois Rivières QC, Port Alberni BC, Powell River BC, and Crofton BC all stood to lose hundreds of good, union jobs. The union immediately launched a campaign calling on Canada’s federal government to act, deploying videos, radio ads, emails to the forestry ministers, rallies, and lobbying in both Ottawa and Washington.
On August 29, the ITC unanimously ruled that Canadian newsprint do not materially injure or threaten to injure U.S. industry. The ruling overturns the U.S. Department of Commerce's decision to impose combined tariffs that were at one point as high as 32% on Catalyst’s products.
“Just as with NAFTA negotiations, the Government of Canada must be aggressive in its pursuit of keeping and creating good, unionized jobs in Canada,” said Dias. “Trade must be centred on decent wages, fair labour standards, and first-class health and safety regulations for all partner countries.”