March 15th, 2018

NDP Statement on Unfair U.S. Tariffs on Groundwood

NDP International Trade Critic, Tracey Ramsey, made the following statement:

“This week, Canada has once again been hit by unfair tariffs from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Government of Canada remains silent and has yet to come to the defence of the thousands of workers in Quebec and in British Columbia who will be negatively impacted.

It has been four months since the U.S. hit our forestry industry with duties on softwood lumber, affecting over 200,000 Canadian workers. At around the same time, they threatened more tariffs on our aerospace industry, affecting another 200,000 workers. And it has only been one week since the near miss of tariffs on steel and aluminum, which could affect an additional 150,000 workers if NAFTA renegotiations don’t go as well as Trump would like. Now, the Department of Commerce has hit Canada with another 22 percent anti-dumping duty on uncoated groundwood paper, used to make newsprint.

Canada is the largest exporter of newsprint in the world. These latest American threats will have a devastating impact in many communities on Vancouver Island and the BC Coast, including the Georgia Strait, and in several towns throughout Quebec. This hit will also likely cause more mill closures and layoffs, and yet Canadians still have not seen an effective response from the Trudeau Liberals.

An estimated $64 billion dollars could be lost and half a million Canadians could see their job affected by the imposed tariffs and duties from the US, yet all the Prime Minister has done is pay lip service to the impacted industries and rely on the hope that President Trump will one day treat Canada as a respected trading partner, instead of showing strength to demand it.

Canadians are looking for answers as to how many rounds of threatened tariffs Canada has yet to endure before the Liberal government reaches a durable and fair solution in our trade relations with the US. The Liberal government must take immediate action to protect key sectors from unnecessary hardship and job losses."