ANNOUNCEMENT 27 Mar 2018

The Canadian measures are being done in conjunction with the U.S. import restrictions taken under the national security law.

NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS

1

  • 1 harmful
  • 0 neutral
  • 0 liberalising
Inception date: 13 Jun 2018 | Removal date: open ended
Still in force

Import-related non-tariff measure, nes

The Office of the Prime Minister announced on March 27, 2018, in conjunction with the U.S. imposition of additional import tariffs on steel and aluminum, that the Government of Canada will try to prevent these products from being transshipped from Canada to the United States or diverted into the Canadian market from the United States. The following regulatory changes will be subject to a 15-day consultation period.

  • New anti-circumvention investigations will allow the Canada Border Services Agency to identify and stop companies that try to dodge duties (for example, by slightly modifying products or assembling them in Canada or a third country).
  • In calculating duties, the Canada Border Services Agency will have greater flexibility in determining whether prices charged in the exporter’s domestic market, which we use for comparison, are reliable or distorted.
  • Unions will gain standing to participate in trade-remedy proceedings, including at the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, into whether foreign exports are hurting domestic producers.
  • The government will also (a) coordinate more closely with the United States and Mexico to strengthen border enforcement, (b) urgently undertake a review to ensure enforcement agencies have all necessary resources to combat unfair trade, (c) look to meet more often with the United States and Mexico on issues that harm all three countries, including transshipment, diversion, and global overcapacity, and (d) participate in new stakeholder committees that will meet regularly to monitor steel and aluminum trade.

On May 30, 2018, the Government of Canada announced further measures to support Canadian steel and aluminum workers and industries by bolstering efforts to prevent transshipment and diversion of unfairly priced foreign steel and aluminum into the North American market. This entailed aligning its country of origin marking regime for steel and aluminum products with that of the United States. These regulatory changes expand the scope of steel and aluminum products that need to be marked with their country of origin, and amend the criteria used to determine the country of origin for marked goods. According to a press release, "Better aligning the marking regime with that of the United States builds on new funding of more than $30 million over five years, starting immediately, and $6.8 million per year thereafter to hire 40 new officers to investigate trade-related complaints, including those related to steel and aluminum, and to improve the accuracy and timeliness of published steel import data. This is in addition to recent regulatory changes that allow the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to identify and stop companies that try to avoid duties, and that give the CBSA greater flexibility in responding to situations where prices charged in the exporter's domestic market are distorted." 

On June 13, 2018, the Canada Gazette published the Regulations Amending the Determination of Country of Origin for the Purpose of Marking Goods (Non-NAFTA Countries) Regulations and the Determination of Country of Origin for the Purposes of Marking Goods (NAFTA Countries) Regulations (SOR 2018-116). The regulations amend country of origin marking rules to align with U.S. requirements for certain steel and aluminum products. The aim is to address the transhipment and diversion of foreign steel and aluminum into the North American market. The Regulatory Impact Analysis for the rules states that,

The transhipment and diversion of unfairly cheap foreign steel and aluminum products is a threat to Canadian jobs and the North American market. Among other measures taken by the Government to address this threat, Canada is amending its country of origin marking regime to align with United States (U.S.) requirements on certain steel and aluminum products.

The regulations expand the scope of goods that need to be marked for both NAFTA and non-NAFTA countries and the criteria used to determine the country of origin marking purposes for imports from NAFTA countries. Canada requires that goods specifically identified in the regulations be marked with the country of origin while the U.S. regime requires that all goods of foreign origin be marked. The amendments expand the scope of goods that must be marked to align with the treatment of certain steel and aluminum products under the U.S. regime.