Canada Losing Hope On US Lifting Steel, Aluminium Tariffs; Imposes New Quotas, Tariffs

A worker walks by rolled up steel sits in the ArcelorMittal Dofasco steel plant in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, March 13, 2018 (Photo: REUTERS/Mark Blinch/File Photo)

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.

Despite the move from Canada, together with Mexico, to agree on the renewed continental trade deal last week with the Trump administration, Washington still opted to retain the trading measures in its place, the report from Reuters said.

Trump has imposed the sanctions on both aforementioned countries back in June for national security reasons.

Washington suspected that Canada, being the sole supplier of both raw metal resources to the United States, could be used as a drop point for supplies coming from other nations and shipped into the country with the presumption that they were produced in Canadian facilities.

To address such concerns from its North American neighbors, the Trudeau government finally enacted on Thursday a promise it made earlier in March that it would impose a set of new quotas and tariffs on imports of seven categories of steel produced from other countries.

This measure seeks to thwart the potential rise in steel and aluminum imports to the country.

As indicated over at the Globe and Mail, Ottawa will slap a tariff of 25 percent on the said materials starting Oct. 25 in such situations that the level of imports from trading partners would exceed historical norms.

The said affected products include concrete reinforcing bar, heavy plate, hot-rolled sheet, energy tubular products, pre-painted steel, and many more others.

Mexico is apparently one of the many countries that will be put in the line of fire with Ottawa's steel tariff policy. On Thursday, the administration of Enrique Peña Nieto expressed its disappointment on the decision made by its economic ally, adding that it would seek to file an exemption order from Canada for its domestic steel exporters.

Conveying A Message

More than anything else, the new tariff on steel is Canada's way of sending a message to the United States, urging its North American neighbor to reconsider its position on the matter.

Jerry Dias of Unifor, a major private sector union in Canada, said in a statement cited over at Global News that the US doesn't have any more reasons to continue punishing the steel industry now that the issue has already been resolved.

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