Canada’s steelmakers irate as Ottawa again waives retaliatory tariffs
April 22, 2019
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Canada is waiving retaliatory tariffs on another $110 million worth of U.S. steel, deepening tensions with domestic producers who are pushing for tougher trade restrictions on foreign imports.
Last July, Finance Canada imposed tariffs on $16.6 billion worth of U.S. steel, aluminum and other goods, including a 25 per cent steel tariff. It subsequently offered reprieves for some importers with contractual obligations as well as for certain products — such as those that aren’t made in the country, according to the Financial Post.
In a post on its website Tuesday, the Finance Department granted waivers to an additional 26 Canadian companies — a move that boosts the total number of firms to 81. It extends the expiry date of the waivers or “remissions” by two months to June 30 and also exempts a range of new steel products.
“The extension of the time-limited remission provides relief for downstream manufacturers while they continue to undertake efforts to secure new Canadian sources of supply,” the Finance Department said in a statement to the Financial Post, adding that the vast majority of the requests for exemptions came from companies in the energy, advanced manufacturing, construction, automotive, aerospace and defence industries.
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In all, the amendments add $110 million in potential tariff refunds for Canadian companies, pushing the total to $395 million.
But the move has disappointed steel industry leaders who are pressing Ottawa to bolster import restrictions, arguing that global overcapacity has left the world awash in steel that has been shut out of the U.S. due to its tariffs and is now seeking a home in alternate markets, including Canada.