The Saskatchewan NDP have written to Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland to “use all the tools at your disposal” to engage her U.S. counterparts to ensure that no new tariffs are imposed on Saskatchewan uranium exports.
The letter penned by MLA Vicki Mowat comes as the United States is reviewing whether uranium imports are a national security threat.
Mowat’s letter states any tariffs “would seriously damage our provinces already-struggling mining sector.” Mowat says recently there have been hundreds of workers jobless due to low prices and that a tariff would be disastrous for the economy.
Speaking to reporters Thursday, NDP MLA Trent Wotherspoon says he is concerned about what a tariff would do to families in the north. “This is incredibly concerning to a very important industry within our province. Workers all across our province and through the north count on that employment,” Wotherspoon said.
Cameco CEO Tim Gitzel says in a statement released Wednesday that it is too early to speculate on how the investigation will impact Cameco’s operations.
Mowat in her letter says that if Canada is unsuccessful in preventing tariffs, a compensation package should be provided.
Wotherspoon says there needs to be a coordinated push-back effort against any uranium tariff. “We need an active federal government. We need a united Canada on this front. We need to be a full partner as a province to push-back against this reckless and damaging move again from [President] Trump,” Wotherspoon stated.
“Saskatchewan is a leading supplier of uranium to the United States, supplying 23% of uranium imports in 2017. It is estimated that 1 in 19 households in the U.S are powered by Saskatchewan uranium,” Premier Scott Moe says in a statement. “During our recent mission to Washington DC to advocate for Saskatchewan’s interests, I met with Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross to discuss areas of shared interests between Saskatchewan, Canada, and the United States. Saskatchewan’s uranium industry was part of those discussions. In the coming days I will be sending a letter to Secretary Ross outlining that Saskatchewan uranium is a safe, stable and sustainable supply of energy to the United States.”
Moe says his government has reached out Ottawa about the potential impacts and to collaborate on next steps.
(PHOTO: McArthur River mine. Photo courtesy of cameco.com)