Friday , April 16 2021

Moreno continues the trade action of 2 foreign steel products, falling by 5 others

Only two types of foreign steel imports, a heavy plate, and stainless steel wire will continue to face trade remedies to protect the Canadian steel industry, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said today.

His decision on the final safeguards follows the advice of the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, which earlier this month found no justification for continuing an additional income for five other products that were also subject to a temporary income of 25 percent since last October.

That the temporary surplus of concrete reinforcement bar, energy tubular products, hot rolled sheet, pre-painted steel and wire rod ends on Sunday. Revenue is activated only when the volume of imports exceeds historical averages.

Friday's discharge from the Finance Department did not specify what form would be the last safeguard against these two products. Mono's office said it would be announced "in the coming days".

Canada steel mills and the United Steelworkers Union urged the minister to surpass the tribunal and to introduce final safeguards for all seven products.

In a statement late Friday, the president of the Canadian Iron and Steel Association said it was disappointed.

"Steel producing countries in the world are implementing these trade measures, and Canada's failure to do so means that we are more dangerously traded than ever before," said Catherine Kobden, warning that the lack of protective measures "could lead to a loss thousands of jobs put $ 1.1 billion in planned investments at risk and see the erosion of our competitiveness. "

But if Morno acted against the recommendations of his own quasi-judicial tribunal, it would be difficult for Canada to say that he respects the decision-making and rules of international trade based on evidence.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met several steel directors in recent months.

Several of his senior ministers, including Morne and Foreign Minister Christian Freeland, whose name was also on this announcement, have repeatedly appeared on Canadian steel mills for meetings and photo opportunities, while the government struggled with how to respond 25 percent steel and 10 percent aluminum tariffs imposed on Canadian exports from the Trump administration last summer for reasons of "national security".

The announcement on Friday announced that Trudo's government is launching an "intense, 30-day consultation with industry and workers, in order to determine what additional safeguards".

More protection is coming

A working group has been set up to "ensure that the attitudes of workers and industry continue to be heard and handled without delay," the statement said.

It also promises "in the next few weeks" to "take all legal action available to protect Canadian jobs," including:

  • Consider possible dumping cases to see if higher charges are guaranteed to ensure that Canadian products are not endangered.
  • Strengthen the collection of data to track the quantity, type and origin of imports and better respond to any waves, transhipment (steel originating from one country, but sent from another to avoid customs duties or tariffs) or other sudden changes in trading patterns.
  • Greater flexibility for Canada's Border Agency to deal with price and cost deformations on foreign markets when determining whether a dumping occurred.
  • More guidelines for the CBSA to be determined when cases of remedies should be self-initiated through unfair prices or subsidies.
  • More consultations on the rationale for the recovery of US import taxes to encourage the use of Canadian steel.
  • More support for domestic manufacturers from innovation, science and economic development Canada and its agencies.

The federal government has already established a $ 2 billion package for the Canadian steel sector. According to publicly announced financing decisions, much remains unresolved. Additionally $ 100 million in support for small and medium-sized producers and manufacturers was announced earlier this year.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with Alan Kestenbaum, executive president of Stelco Inc. in the office of his parliament on April 11th. Kestenbaum praised Trudo's ministers to be extremely responsible, saying they could reach them on their mobile phones. (Sean Kilpatrick / Canadian Press)

The process of emergency protection measures, which has just been completed – imposes preliminary tax charges for 200 days, after which the Tribunal's inquiry into their merits, leading to a final decision on Friday's long-term measures – fulfilled Canada's obligations under the World Trade Organization.

Failure to respect the Tribunal's findings can provoke revenge or challenges from other steel exporters.

These emergency protection measures do not apply to imports from the United States, which faced separate retaliatory tariffs after Americans hit an extra tax on Canadian exports of steel and aluminum in July last year.

Some other countries with which Canada has trade agreements, as well as a list of developing countries, were also not included.

Also, safeguard measures were separated from other anti-dumping and offsetting obligations that already exist for specific steel products from countries like China and Vietnam.

US Tariffs exist

After the United States introduced tariffs for "national security" last year, the Canadian steel industry warned that cheap foreign steel could be diverted to the north, breaking Canada's domestic market.

But the tribunal did not consistently find evidence of surge for all seven products it investigated, and even when there was a significant increase in imports, it did not always consider that imports a threat to the stability of the domestic market.

Trudeau met workers with Stelco in March last year during a visit to the plant in Hamilton. The announcement Friday promised to continue to protect Canadian jobs. (Tara Walton / Canadian Press)

Canada's safeguard measures provided 25 percent of Tariff Protectors in Canada and the United States of foreign competition.

After becoming in place, Americans have become more difficult to blame Canada for acting as a back door through which cheap steel could be used in the United States – and harder for Americans to claim they need their protection tariff for Canadian products.

However, the United States did not respond by lifting its steel and aluminum tariffs to Canada.

Meanwhile, over-the-counters risked serious damage to Canadian construction companies, oil pipeline companies and other downstream products that need affordable steel.

Some reported lack of supply and other disruptions to their businesses that risk potentially more jobs than they could be protected in steelworks.

Officials, including Canada's ambassador to Washington, David McNonnon, only this week, said Canada would not ratify the re-negotiated trade deal with North America, while US tariffs remain in place.

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