Laval, QC, May 17, 2019 – Jim Hoffa, General President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and François Laporte, President of Teamsters Canada, made the following statements today on the lifting of the U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs:
In Washington, Hoffa was quick to offer his support for the announced solution: “When this overdue announcement was made, I personally thanked Ambassador Lighthizer and congratulated him for the successful resolution of this irritant in our traditionally excellent bilateral trade relations.
“We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Canada and with the Steelworkers unions in both countries. As we all know, steel and aluminum are the backbone of North America’s integrated economy, critical infrastructure and mutual defence.”
Laporte echoed Hoffa’s response: “I spoke with Minister Freeland earlier today to congratulate her on the government’s work on getting the U.S. national security tariffs lifted. This is truly excellent news for both countries.
“These tariffs put hundreds of our members out of work, primarily in auto parts factories in Ontario and at a steel mill in British Columbia. We hope the laid-off workers will be promptly reinstated, and we are currently studying ways to help get our affected members’ lives back on track as soon as possible.”
Hoffa and Laporte agree: “American and Canadian workers are united by a tight bond. We are each other’s closest trading partners and closest allies. We have worked together, fought together, and built great things together.
“Teamsters on both sides of the border lobbied their respective governments for an end to these tariffs. Our combined efforts, against these tariffs and for Fair Trade, exemplify the international solidarity of working families, and illustrate the importance of international unions in the global economy.”
Teamsters represent close to 125,000 members in Canada in all industries. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is affiliated, has 1.4 million members in North America.
Director of Public Affairs