Cullen expresses concern regarding continued aluminum tariffs

KITIMAT –Nathan Cullen, MP (Skeena–Bulkley Valley) recently met with Unifor representatives from the Rio Tinto plant in Kitimat and heard first-hand the continued uncertainty for workers caused by the US imposed tariffs on aluminum.

Prime Minister Trudeau has suggested that an agreement with the US to remove the tariffs could be reached before the G-20 meeting at the end of the November and Cullen has urged the federal government to do everything possible to make sure this happens.

With Democrats in the US Congress suggesting that they will withhold support for the new USMCA trade deal without significant changes, there remains an opportunity for Canada to get the tariffs removed before it commits to the new trade deal.

“While these tariffs remain in place, thousands of jobs are under threat across Canada, including at the aluminum plant here in Kitimat. The Liberals are celebrating a renegotiated NAFTA, yet the tariffs remain. That doesn’t seem like the good deal this government is claiming it is. The NDP has been clear; Canada should not be signing the new trade deal until these tariffs have been removed” stated Cullen.

Martin McIlwrath, President of Unifor Local 2301 in Kitimat said the Union will support the government refusing to sign the new USMCA agreement until a no aluminum tariff or quota agreement is reached.

“In order to protect the jobs and the workers in the aluminum sector it’s key that any resolution of this issue does not include tariffs or quotas of any kind” said McIlwrath.

British Columbia exports around $600 million worth of aluminum every year and 50% of the aluminum produced in Kitimat goes to the US.

Contact: James Hammond, 613-993-6654; nathan.cullen.a1@parl.gc.ca