Final Safeguards to be Imposed to Protect Canadian Steel Workers
April 26, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada
Canada's steel and aluminum sector is an important part of our economy, providing thousands of Canadians with good middle class jobs.
To stand up for Canada's steel industry and its workers in light of illegal and unjustified U.S. tariffs, the Government has taken strong action, including challenging the tariffs at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and imposing reciprocal, dollar-for dollar, countermeasures against imports from the U.S. of steel, aluminum and other products.
In October 2018, the Government went even further—imposing provisional steel safeguards for a period of 200 days to help stabilize the market. These safeguards help protect against foreign steel being dumped in the Canadian market.
As required by law, the Government asked the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) to undertake a comprehensive, arms-length and transparent inquiry into whether final safeguards are warranted.
The Tribunal issued its report on April 3, 2019, finding that final safeguards are warranted for imports of heavy plate and stainless steel wire.
Today, the Government is announcing its intent to enact final safeguards on these two categories of steel.
In response to the CITT ruling on five additional safeguards, the Government is announcing an intensive 30-day consultation with industry and workers, in order to determine what further protections are required. This working group will ensure that the views of workers and industry continue to be heard and are acted upon without delay.
Protecting Against Unfair Trade Practices
In the next few weeks, the Government will take every legal action at its disposal to protect Canadian jobs and industry from unfair trade practices. New measures will include:
- Conducting a timely and targeted review of dumping cases to boost protections through higher duties to ensure Canadian companies are not at an unfair disadvantage with foreign competitors.
- The introduction of a more robust steel import regime with a view to strengthening import data, including product quantity, type and origin information. This would enhance Canada's ability to monitor import surges, assess evidence of transshipment and be more responsive to sudden changes in trading patterns.
- Greater flexibility for the Canada Border Services Agency to address price and cost distortions in foreign markets when determining whether dumping has occurred.
- In cooperation with industry, develop a framework to help guide the Canada Border Services Agency in determining when trade remedy actions should be self-initiated.
- Consult with stakeholders on the framework for remission of surtaxes imposed on imports from the U.S. in order to further incentivize the use of Canadian-made steel products.
- The Government will also ensure that support for domestic producers provided through Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and its agencies is responsive to the evolving needs of steel and aluminum companies by making use of program flexibility.
Government Action to Date
These actions will build on efforts over the past year to alleviate the negative impact of global market distortions and incentivize the use of Canadian-made steel products. Existing action includes:
- $2 billion to defend and protect the interests of Canadian steel, aluminum and manufacturing industries and their workers, including up to $250 million in new funding through the Strategic Innovation Fund.
- $100 million in new funding to support small and medium-sized steel and aluminum manufacturers and users in all regions of the country.
- Allowing for the surtaxes imposed on companies' imports of steel and aluminum inputs from the U.S. to be waived or remitted in specific circumstances.
- A series of measures designed to prevent the transshipment and diversion of steel and aluminum to our market.
Recognizing the ongoing challenges faced by Canada's steel and aluminum companies, workers and communities, the Government continues to advocate for the illegal and unjustified U.S. tariffs to be lifted immediately.
"We will always stand up for Canadian workers and businesses, and that means taking action to counter unfair trade practices when merited. International trade strengthens our economy—but it must be open and fair. To the over 23,000 steel workers in Canada—we have your back. Our government stands ready to use all legal avenues at its disposal to protect our industry from unfair trade practices and the abuse of our trade remedy system."
– Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance
"The U.S. tariffs imposed on Canadian steel under section 232 are illegal and unjustified. That national security could be used as a justification for U.S. trade action against Canada is absurd. It is overwhelmingly in the best interests of both countries for these tariffs to be lifted. In the meantime, our government has put in place retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods, and we are challenging the U.S. measures at the WTO and under NAFTA. We will continue to take strong action to support Canadian workers and industry."
– Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs
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Office of the Minister of Finance
Department of Finance Canada
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