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Canada reveals final retaliatory tariffs vs US

Jun 29, 2018 | 04:12 PM | New York | Michael Roh

Tags  Canada, Section 232 tariffs, retaliatory tariffs, aluminium, steel,

The Canadian government has released the final list of goods from the United States to be targeted in retaliatory tariffs that take effect Sunday July 1 in response to US Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.

The final list of goods will hit a number of steel products with 25% tariffs, aluminium products with 10% tariffs and a range of other US goods, including ketchup, pizza, boats and whiskey - also with 10% tariffs.

These tariffs will go into effect on July 1, Canadian foreign affairs minister Chrystia Freeland confirmed at a press conference in Hamilton, Ontario, on June 29.

US tariffs have been in place on Canadian goods since June 1. Ours go into effect on July 1. In all ways, we have been very restrained. Our approach is we will not escalate. But equally, we will not back down,” Freeland said, emphasizing that the Canadian tariffs are a dollar-for-dollar response.

US aluminium market participants were largely unfazed by the announcement, but a Canadian aluminium supplier told American Metal Market that these tariffs are not expected to disappear any time soon.

“[The North American Free Trade Agreement] won’t be solved overnight,” the source said. “What people need to consider is that this makes the US less attractive than other places to ship metal.”

The trade restrictions between the Nafta allies might only serve to divert metal away from the US market, considering the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, which allows Canadian producers to export primary aluminium to European countries cheaper, a trader told Metal Bulletin last month.

Canadian innovation minister Navdeep Bains, confirming earlier reports by American Metal Market that the country would introduce safeguards to confront transshipments, revealed aid measures at the same conference that are designed to support workers and small- to medium-sized companies in the steel and aluminium industries. These measures were announced by the Quebec government earlier in the month.

Regarding the proposed US tariffs on auto imports, “any trade action is disruptive on both sides of the border,” Freeland said.

The United Steelworkers union in mid-June advised the Canadian government to act quickly with retaliatory action against the US Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.

Kirk Maltais, New York, contributed to this article.


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