OTTAWA — The president of the Canadian Steel Producers Association says Canada may be off the hook for now from American steel and aluminum tariffs but it is still at risk as a glut of foreign steel looks for a new home.
Joseph Galimberti says Canada has to work very quickly to identify possible attempts to circumvent the U.S. tariffs by sneaking steel in through Canada and it must be prepared to initiate actions to stop it.
U.S. President Donald Trump required Canada and Mexico to take steps to stop trans-shipments of foreign steel via their ports as one of the conditions for exempting them from the 25 per cent duty on steel and 10 per cent duty on aluminum that will apply to imports from every other country.
International trade lawyer Larry Herman says the U.S. tariffs mean there is now a lot of steel looking for a home and he encourages the federal government to put out a firm policy statement soon explaining what it will do if it finds evidence other countries are attempting to dump their steel in Canada.
Herman says Canada can use the Customs Tariff Act to apply temporary surcharges on steel imports from countries caught trying to do this, as well as tightening up the system that issues permits for any steel imports which he says is more a formality than a check on the system at the moment.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada already has measures in place to prevent foreign countries, mostly China, from dumping steel into Canada, but that he can and will do whatever else it takes to protect Canada’s industry going forward.
The Canadian Press