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November 2, 2020

U.S. Section 232 Penalties On Canadian Aluminum Formally Rescinded

As The Canadian Press reported, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a proclamation on October 27 formally rescinding the 10 percent tariffs on aluminum exports that he had placed on Canadian producers earlier this year.

The question is: how long with this policy last?

In the proclamation, President Trump also reserved the right to reimpose the tariffs if aluminum exports spike again before the end of the year. The proclamation, which is available here, said, “The United States will continue to monitor the implementation and effectiveness of the measures agreed upon with Canada in addressing our national security needs, as described in Proclamation 9893, both with respect to imports of non-alloyed unwrought aluminum and imports of other aluminum articles.”

The proclamation also listed the expected quantities of aluminum imports at 83 million kilograms in September and November, and 70 million in October and December and promised that the U.S. and Canadian governments will meet in December to examine import levels and expected market conditions for 2021.

As a reminder, the Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI) opposed the United States’ decision to reimpose Section 232 tariffs on Canadian aluminum and wrote to U.S. President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to ask for them to find a solution to avoid the tariffs. (Click hereto read the letter.)

MSCI received a reply from Mary Ng, Canadian Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion, and International Trade, after the United States decided to lift the tariffs. Ng said, “Canada welcomes the United States’ decision to lift its aluminum tariffs, which is good for both Canadian and American workers as well as industry.” Ng warned, however, that “if at any point the United States reimposes tariffs on Canadian aluminum, Canada is prepared to respond with proportional and reciprocal surtaxes on imports of U.S. aluminum and aluminum containing goods.”