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April 8, 2019

Canada Will Remove Tariffs On Five Steel Product Imports

As CBC reported this past Saturday, the Canadian government will eliminate 25 percent tariffs for five types of foreign steel imported from countries other than the United States after the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) determined there is “inadequate evidence to justify most of the Finance Department’s emergency safeguards to protect Canadian steelmakers.”

Specifically, penalties on concrete reinforcing bar, energy tubular products, hot-rolled sheet, pre-painted steel and stainless steel wire rod will cease to exist on April 28. (As CBC explained, “The provisional safeguards apply until then, but the government intends to refund what importers have paid.”) Penalties on heavy plate and stainless steel wire will remain in place since the CITT determined that foreign imports of these products are a legitimate threat to the domestic industry.

The three-person CITT panel argued, “[T]here is an important public interest issue in achieving a balanced recommendation on remedy, one that removes the threat of serious injury to the domestic producers from increased imports, while, at the same time, minimizing the costs to the Canadian economy.”

The tariffs at issue had been put into place last October. They did not apply to imports from the United States because those imports were subject to separate retaliatory tariffs after President Donald Trump implemented his Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum product imports. (Those tariffs remain in place.)

Though the government “never released a rationale for the surtax,” Canadian officials had wanted to prevent “any sudden dumps of cheap product displaced from the U.S. by the Trump administration’s recent tariffs.” Click here to read CBC’s detailed review of this decision and its implications.