United Steelworkers Union: Build Back Better Through Infrastructure Spending on Both Sides of the Border

Contacts: Ken Neumann, USW National Director for Canada, 416-544-5951; or Shannon Devine, USW Communications, 416-894-7118 (cell), sdevine@usw.ca

PITTSBURGH, PA / TORONTO, CANADA, April 1, 2021 – As the largest private-sector union in North America, representing more than 850,000 members on both sides of the border, the United Steelworkers union (USW) sees U.S. President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan as an opportunity to maintain and create jobs, bolster manufacturing and make our communities safer.  

It is clear that a massive investment to rebuild, upgrade and repair critical infrastructure systems has long been necessary. President Biden’s bold plan to invest in transportation, broadband, water and other systems will draw on the products, components and services USW members make and supply each day, making workers and their communities the direct beneficiaries of this spending. 

This plan represents a massive opportunity to harness and revitalize the critical supply chains that decades of unbalanced trade policies and the unfair trading practices of bad actors severely damaged.

Like the United States, Canada needs aggressive investment in infrastructure, and both countries must strive to ensure procurement policies that reflect the unique trading relationship between the two countries. 

Previous efforts by the U.S. and Canadian governments to ensure suppliers on both sides of the border benefit are models which can be replicated again today. The USW will encourage leaders of both countries to review the mutually beneficial agreement signed after the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and urge them to adopt this government procurement approach.

“A decade ago, the USW worked with the Obama administration and the Canadian government to create a North American strategy that benefited workers in the United States and Canada,” said USW International President Tom Conway. “Canada is not the problem facing U.S. manufacturing and workers. Co-operation between Canada and U.S. will build on our longstanding and productive trading relationship.” 

USW National Director for Canada Ken Neumann pointed to the need to improve Canadian infrastructure and the benefits of a mutual procurement strategy between Canada and the United States. 

“Canada’s bridges, buildings and public transportation systems are all in need of upgrades and development. With a clear procurement strategy, Canada must prioritize the use of environmentally sustainable, low-carbon materials that will create and maintain jobs,” said Neumann.

“On top of enforcing better procurement protections in our own country, the Canadian government must also employ stronger tools to address the trans-shipment of illegally dumped imports, and take pride in the products that Canadians harvest, mine, manufacture and produce,” added Neumann. 

USW members in both the U.S. and Canada are ready to supply the infrastructure needs of their respective countries and to promote co-operative and co-ordinated trade enforcement strategies.

The United Steelworkers union represents workers in nearly every economic sector, with 850,000 members strong in Canada and the United States, with close ties to unions around the world. 

Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Jess Kamm at 412-562-2446

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor R.J. Hufnagel

For industry specific inquiries,
Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

Mailing Address

United Steelworkers
Communications Department
60 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222