Building trades support retaliatory tariffs

June 6, 2018

Canada’s Building Trades Unions fully support the Government of Canada’s response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum from Canadian companies.

“We unequivocally support Prime Minister Trudeau and his government for taking swift action a day following President Trump’s short-sighted decision,” stated Robert Blakely, Canadian operating officer of Canada’s Building Trades Unions.

At midnight on June 1, the United States imposed a 25% tariff on Canadian, Mexican, and European Union steel and a 10% tariff on aluminum. In retaliation, the Government of Canada is imposing $16.6 billion in retaliatory tariffs.

“It is unfortunate that the Government of Canada had to make such decisions, but President Trump has given Canada no choice but to finally put its foot down and say enough is enough,” said Blakely. He said the association also finds it difficult to understand how Trump justifies his decision by saying it’s about national security. “As the U.S.’s closest ally and as a nation that has served in wars alongside the United States for over a century, the pretext that these tariffs somehow have a ‘national security’ basis is a studied insult to all those Canadians who served, bled, and died in those wars,” Blakely said.

He added that he hopes that common sense will prevail. “The United States and Canada have an integrated economy that has served Americans and Canadians very well over our history. I am convinced that the elected officials in Congress and the Senate will pressure their president to reverse this misguided decision that is harming a relationship that is envied across the world,” concluded Blakely.