Posted February 2, 2009
Free Trade

Local and U.S. steel industries - Maintaining balanced trade

MONTREAL - In light of the reaction on this side of the border to the U.S. president's economic recovery plan, particularly with regard to the steel trade, the USW/Syndicat des Metallos (FTQ) believes that the reality of this industry in North America should be taken into consideration. "In 2002, we embarked on a joint undertaking with our Canadian and American colleagues to stop the massive inflow of steel from the Eastern bloc and Asia. We were able to carry out this joint battle because an integrated North American industry was being threatened by dumping in the steel market," declared Daniel Roy, Quebec Director of the Syndicat des Metallos (FTQ).

"Part of our membership works in the steel industry and in iron mines belonging to large companies in several countries, including the United States. These businesses will still need our iron ore. The same goes for the Quebec steel industry. The steel trade between Canada and the U.S. - the largest in the world - can be described as 'balanced trade', and was recognized as such by the United States International Trade Commission in 2002. The U.S. government's recent internal initiative has been framed within a specific process, integration and a set of rules."

"We will nonetheless ensure," concluded Daniel Roy, "that the 'Buy American' policy contained in the US$825-billion financial stimulus program benefits the North American steel industry as a whole. It should also be kept in mind that the U.S. government has international obligations that it should respect."

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