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August 20, 2018

Public Comment Welcome As Canada Explores Safeguards On Seven Steel Products

In an effort “to protect Canada’s steel industry and stand up for Canadian workers by taking further steps to prevent diversion of foreign steel products into Canada” as a result of the United States’ Section 232 penalties, last Tuesday the Canadian government announced plans to examine whether it should implement safeguards for seven steel products: steel plate, concrete reinforcing bar, energy tubular products, hot-rolled sheet, pre-painted steel, stainless steel wire, and wire rod.

The government will accept comments from the public until Aug. 29, 2018. Interested parties can submit their comments to the Department of Finance Canada by emailing fin.simaconsult-lmsiconsult.fin@canada.ca. In the comments, stakeholders are asked to address whether, as a result of the U.S. tariffs, the seven named steel products are being imported at such quantities that they will “cause or threaten to cause serious injury” to domestic producers. Click here for more information on the comment process.

The law firm Bennett Jones explains the safeguards could take the form of an import surtax under the Canadian Customs Tariff or an import restriction under the Export and Import Permits Act. The firm also explained the federal cabinet can impose safeguards through two routes: a provisional basis and only in the form of a surtax or following an inquiry by the Canadian International Trade Tribunal.

Canada’s Financial Post offers more explanation about how the safeguards could work, and the impact they might have.