Canada eyes safeguards to prevent steel “surge”

by | Aug 15, 2018 | 0 comments

Canadian finance minister Bill Morneau has announced a 15-day consultation period on potential safeguard actions against a “surge” in steel imports as U.S. tariffs could serve to deflect supplies to Canada.

Morneau says this could seriously disrupt the domestic steel industry in light of stiff U.S. import tariffs on steel and aluminum products.

“We know that because of the unfair tariffs imposed by the United States, other countries are will be seeking alternative markets for their steel products. One of those markets is Canada,” Bill Morneau said during a visit to the ArcelorMittal Dofasco steel plant in Hamilton, Ont.

“As a result, Canada is now at risk for a surge in an import of steel products which could harm Canadian steel producers and workers. From our perspective this is just unacceptable.”

Morneau said the federal government is launching a 15-day consultation period to discuss next steps and possible safeguard actions for seven different steel products.

Products considered for provisional safeguards are used in a variety of applications, the most common of which include:

  • Steel plate: heavy machinery and transportation manufacturing and construction.
  • Concrete reinforcing bar (“rebar”): strengthening and preventing concrete from cracking.
  • Energy tubular products: oil and gas exploration, extraction and transmission.
  • Hot-rolled sheet: construction and automotive, agricultural product and pipe and tube manufacturing.
  • Pre-painted steel: construction, industrial packaging and appliances manufacturing.
  • Stainless steel wire: manufacturing of pins, nails, springs, filters and conveyor belts.
  • Wire rod: manufacturing of wires, springs, wire mesh, fasteners and nails, and automotive and industrial components.

Safeguards are trade measures imposed under international trade rules in exceptional circumstances to respond to import surges that may harm Canadian producers and workers. The Government will continue to work with stakeholders to determine if additional products may be considered for safeguard action, and is committed to applying additional safeguards where circumstances warrant their application, in accordance with Canada’s international trade obligations.

Comments regarding possible safeguard action can be submitted to the Department of Finance Canada at fin.simaconsult-lmsiconsult.fin@canada.cauntil August 29, 2018.

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