Published: Mon, October 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Ottawa imposing 25-per-cent surtax on some foreign steel products

Ottawa imposing 25-per-cent surtax on some foreign steel products

Canada will start charging a 25 percent tariff on seven imported steel products due to an excess supply that is hurting Canadian steel producers and workers, the Department of Finance said in a press release on Thursday.

Looks like Canada is giving up on hope that the United States will finally put a quick end on the tariffs it imposed on steel and aluminum exports, sources claiming knowledge on the issue said on Thursday, adding that Ottawa is now seeking to impose its own set of quotas and tariffs on imports of several categories of steel from other countries.

The government is also requesting that the Canadian International Trade Tribunal conduct an inquiry to determine whether long-term measures are warranted.

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump imposed the tariffs on Canada and Mexico in June, citing national security reasons.

A new report from CoBank says the agreement is expected to keep tariffs on food and agriculture between the three countries at zero.

The new quotas and tariffs would affect countries such as China and Turkey, but not Canadian steel imports from the USA, which are already subject to other duties. "They will simply pass on the 25-per-cent retaliatory tariffs to their Canadian customers". "It's more ironic than intentional, but it gives you an example of the importance of imported steel in Canada". It costs more than four times extra to ship a tonne of steel to Vancouver from Ontario than it does from China or Korea, said Richard Lyall, president of the Residential Construction Council of Ontario.

The government of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is pessimistic about the chances of the tariffs being removed soon, said the sources, who asked to remain anonymous, given the sensitivity of the situation.

Canada rejected the demand and made it clear that any cap on the metals would have be at a level higher than current exports to allow room for shipments to grow.

The latest pork export sales figures were out early this week for the US and what it showed was that sales to China were down about 21 percent from year ago levels and sales to Mexico were down I think about five to six percent. Goldman said two government sources told him the information, declining to name them.

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