U.S. President Donald Trump announced new global tariffs for the imports of steel (at 25%) and aluminum (at 10%) that are to be implemented next week. NDP International Trade Critic and MP, Tracey Ramsey (Essex), with her colleagues who have major steel companies and stakeholders within their ridings, are calling on Foreign Affairs Minister Freeland to take immediate action to protect these key sectors from unnecessary hardship and job losses. These tariffs are a result of the Trump administration invoking a provision in U.S. trade law (Section 232) that allows them to take punitive actions if it is a matter of national security.  The U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross investigated this claim and released his recommendations earlier this year, on February 23, 2018.


New Democrats are extremely concerned about how these tariffs will affect our respective industries in Canada, and about the Trump administration’s targeting of our softwood lumber, aerospace and agricultural sectors. This is not the first time that tariffs have been threatened or imposed by the US government, and Canadians need a durable, fair agreement on trade relations with the United States as soon as possible.


“With the U.S. administrations’ unreasonable “poisoned pill” proposals to change the Rules of Origin in the NAFTA negotiations, our industries are facing a great deal of uncertainty,” said Ramsey. “How many rounds of tariffs, will Canada have to endure before the government reaches a durable and fair trade deal with our largest trading partner?”


Due to the fact that President Trump has made these harmful tariff decisions today, New Democrats sent a letter immediately to Minister Freeland demanding that she unequivocally stand up for the needs of Canadian workers and businesses in our manufacturing sector during this difficult time of turbulence and uncertainty.