BURNABY, British Columbia (News release) -- As Members of Parliament prepare for another debate in the House of Commons to discuss growing softwood lumber tariffs, the United Steelworkers union (USW) is calling on the federal government to move from empty talk to tangible action to support the workers whose jobs and ability to support their families are at risk.
"A week has gone by since the U.S. said they were doubling softwood lumber tariffs. The thousands of Canadians who work in the industry across this country deserve real action from the federal government," said Jeff Bromley, Chair of the USW Wood Council, representing 14,000 Canadian forest sector workers. "More empty words won't put food on the table or keep a roof over their heads,"
Tonight, Members of Parliament are scheduled to have a debate of no more than four hours to discuss the United States Department of Commerce's decision to double the average tariff on Canadian softwood lumber to 17.9% from 8.99%.
Even though the decision appears to be in contravention of fair trade and virtually all WTO decisions on the softwood lumber dispute, the federal government failed to resolve it during the Canada-U.S.-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) negotiations. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government also failed to make any headway in the recent summit with U.S. President Joe Biden and the meetings that followed.
"The federal government just keeps talking. And the U.S. keeps hiking tariffs," said Bromley. "Tens of thousands of families in more than 600 communities across Canada depend on our forestry sector. The federal government needs to finally fix this conflict for good."
The USW Wood Council has organized a nationwide advocacy campaign, Forestry Is for Everyone, calling on the federal government to resolve the softwood dispute and to implement a strategy to support workers and struggling forestry companies. For information on the USW campaign, go to www.forestryisforeveryone.ca.