ANNOUNCEMENT 31 May 2018
Canada is taking this action against the U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
On May 31, 2018, the United States announced the imposition of tariffs on imports of certain steel and aluminum products from Canada (at the rates of 25% and 10%, respectively). In response to these measures, Canada intends to impose surtaxes or similar trade-restrictive countermeasures against up to Can.$16.6 billion in imports of steel, aluminum, and other products from the United States, representing the value of 2017 Canadian exports affected by the U.S. measures. The Government is also considering whether additional measures may be required. One class of goods will be subject to a 25% surtax or similar trade-restrictive measures; others will be subject to a 10% surtax or similar trade-restrictive measures. These countermeasures will only apply to goods originating from the United States.
The Department of Finance Canada reaffirmed this action on June 29, 2018, at which time it made several changes to the composition of the retaliation lists. These involved the removal of some items that had previously been on the list, and their replacement with others.
These countermeasures will take effect on July 1, 2018 and will remain in place until the United States eliminates its trade-restrictive measures against Canada. The countermeasures will not apply to U.S. goods that are in transit to Canada on the day on which these countermeasures come into force.
Notably, a number of other countries also imposed retaliation measures in the form of duties in reaction to the imposition of steel and aluminium duties by the United States, see related state acts.
On October 11, 2018 the Department of Finance Canada announced what it called "further steps to prevent diversion of foreign steel products into Canada, and provide relief to steel and aluminum users in specific circumstances that are paying for countermeasures on certain products imported from the United States." One of these new measures was intended to extend targeted relief from surtaxes collected on steel, aluminum and certain other products imported from the United States since July 1, 2018. Companies that have applied for and been granted relief can now import these goods without paying surtaxes. A portion of this relief will be temporary, offered until such time that Canadian producers are able to adequately meet domestic demand. Relief is provided only where warranted by exceptional circumstances, and Canadian countermeasures on U.S. imports continue to apply. The government will continue to assess, on a case-by-case basis, relief applications based on market conditions including supply shortages.