Targeted relief on Aluminium and Steel: Stability is still needed

OTTAWA, December 20, 2018 – The Canadian Construction Industry is encouraged by the Canadian Government’s decision to provide relief on specific aluminum and steel products.

"Our industry has been hit hard over the last few months, and this relief will bring some much needed good news as we are working hard at building the infrastructure that Canadians need," said Mary Van Buren, President of CCA.

"As welcome as these measures are, this relief is temporary, and the uncertainty will still affect competitiveness and business confidence in Canada. The industry and investors need stability of a permanent solution to the ongoing trade dispute to allow them to better plan for the future" added Ms. Van Buren.

The CCA has long advocated for reciprocity and the establishment and maintenance of a free-flowing international system of trade, both regarding goods as well as services. CCA supports international free trade agreements, including provisions respecting government procurement.

Read the original press release on the CCA website.


BC Construction Association, December 20, 2018

In direct response to the concerns of BC’s construction industry the Canadian Federal Government today announced it will exclude some imported steel and aluminum products from its newest import tariffs and quotas, as well as provide relief for specific companies facing unique circumstances and for steel products already in transit prior to October 25, 2018.

This outcome is widely attributed to coordinated advocacy efforts between BC’s construction industry and the government: activity which includes significant contributions and leadership from CCA, BCCA and the RCAs.

“This announcement demonstrates the important role that Associations play in our industry, and the power of local, provincial, and national organizations collaborating together on key issues. The Ministries of Finance at the national and provincial levels heard and respected the concerns of industry, and recognized the need to minimize the significant impacts of federal trade initiatives in our specific industry and region” comments Chris Atchison, BCCA President.

BC is uniquely dependent on imported steel and aluminum products due to its geographic location and undersupply of local producers. The Canadian tariffs were imposed on July 1, 2018, in response to actions taken by the United States.

Read the original BCCA update on their website.


December 19, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada

The Government of Canada is standing up for Canada's steel and aluminum industries, while supporting Canadian workers and businesses. As part of its ongoing efforts, today the Government is announcing new targeted surtax relief on imports of steel and aluminum products, for specific companies facing particular circumstances, such as contractual obligations, and on shipments that were in transit before provisional safeguards were imposed.   

Canada's response to unjustified and counterproductive U.S. tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum began on July 1, 2018, when the Government began applying dollar-for-dollar, reciprocal countermeasures on $16.6 billion of imports of steel, aluminum, and other products from the United States.

The measures below are a continuation of the Government's balanced response—one that will support Canadian producers and manufacturers, while the Government works toward the complete repeal of all U.S. tariffs of Canadian steel and aluminum.

Support for Canadian Firms Affected by Unjustified U.S. Trade Action
Given the longstanding integration of Canada-U.S. supply chains, the Government recognizes that Canadian countermeasures against U.S. imports can create challenges for Canadian manufacturers, particularly those that rely on steel and aluminum imported from the United States. To address these challenges, the Government established a process for Canadian companies to request targeted relief from countermeasures under extraordinary circumstances, such as a lack of supply in the domestic market.

To date, support has come in the form of lending support (through the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada), labour market support (including work-sharing arrangements for job retention and labour market agreements aimed at improving worker skills and training), and targeted relief from countermeasures on imports from the U.S. in cases where Canadian manufacturers cannot source those products from other places. The Government announced its first targeted surtax relief measures for steel and aluminum products on October 11, 2018.

Targeted Relief

Today, the Government announced an amending Remission Order providing additional targeted surtax relief on steel and aluminum products subject to countermeasures, as well as relief for specific companies facing particular circumstances, such as contractual obligations. In addition, the Government announced surtax relief for Canadian companies importing steel products that were in transit before provisional safeguards were imposed on October 25, 2018. This relief responds to concerns raised by stakeholders regarding the impact of provisional safeguards on downstream users and importers.

The list of steel and aluminum products included in the amending Remission Order can be found on the Department of Finance Canada website.

The Government will continue to maintain effective provisional safeguards to address excessive imports of steel products into Canada that may harm Canadian producers and workers. It will continue to monitor the impact of the provisional safeguards on the Canadian market, assess requests for relief of countermeasures, and provide relief as appropriate while Canadian countermeasures on U.S. imports are in effect.

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