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Unifor welcomes removal of aluminum and steel tariffs

May 17, 2019 - 12:00 AM

TORONTO—Canada’s largest union in the private sector is relieved that unfair and illegal U.S. tariffs on Canadian aluminum and steel have been lifted.

“This is great news for Canadian resource workers, we have been pushing against quotas for months now,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “It was critical that the Canadian government stand firm against the demands for hard quotas. The Trudeau government and Minister Freeland deserve credit for not folding under U.S. pressure.”

Under the auspices of “national security”, a 10 per cent tariff on Canadian aluminum exports was imposed in May 2018. The tariffs affected approximately three-quarters of all Canadian aluminum exports, driving up material costs and encouraging buyers to seek alternative suppliers. Unifor has been campaigning to remove the tariffs and resist the Americans’ demands for quotas.

“Negotiating with a backbone gets results,” said Dias. “We expect a similar approach moving forward on our nation’s outstanding trade disputes with the United States.”

Two-thirds of all primary aluminum used in North American production originates from Canada, primarily from Quebec and British Columbia. Canada’s aluminum sector employs 10,500 people, and accounts for nearly $5 billion of value-added economic activity.

For more information, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at  or 778-903-6549 (cell).