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Canadian Steelworkers Recognize NAFTA Improvements

Steel News - Published on Thu, 12 Dec 2019

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The United Steelworkers has welcomed improvements in the revised Canada-US Mexico Agreement announced but raises concern over the impact on Canadian aluminum and steel workers. USW National Director for Canada Ken Neumann said "We're encouraged that the revised CUSMA appears to include some improvements to the previous version of the trade deal, including provisions on labour rights, environmental protections and pharmaceutical costs. No group has fought harder than our union, on both sides of the border, to achieve improvements to this trade deal. We will be particularly interested in determining the scope and effectiveness of the reported changes, particularly those aimed at enhancing and enforcing workers' rights.”

While full details on CUSMA revisions have yet to be disclosed, the USW is disappointed that the new deal apparently does not include stronger North American automotive rules of origin requirements related to steel and aluminum. The USW advocated for requirements that 70% of steel and aluminum components in automobiles be melted/smelted and poured in North America in order for a vehicle to enjoy CUSMA benefits. Mr Neumann said "It appears that the Canadian government did not insist on a fix to the CUSMA auto rules of origin that would require aluminum automobile parts to use aluminum smelted in North America. This is profoundly disappointing, given that Canada is by far the largest producer of aluminum on the continent. This will allow countries like China, Russia and others to continue to flood the North American market, threatening aluminum jobs in Canada. The USW also is concerned that the revised CUSMA reportedly allows for a seven-year implementation of rules-of-origin protections for steel used in the auto sector. The delayed implementation is a setback for Canadian steelworkers and producers.”

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Thu, 12 Dec 2019
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