Canada made two amendments to its steel surtaxes.
First, an increase in the quota of energy tubular products and wire rod from Mexico that can be imported free of the surtax increased by 6.26% and 17.9%, respectively; and secondly, an exemption for Canadian-origin steel re-imported into Canada from surtaxes.
The amendments went into effect on Feb. 2.
This move follows on the heels of the introduction of surtaxes and tariff relief for the steel and aluminum in October 2018.
At the time, the government issued the measure in response to American tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum.
“The Government of Canada is announcing 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,” read a statement at the time.
For companies that import steel and aluminum to make their products, the government has created a process where businesses can request targeted relief from “countermeasures under extraordinary circumstances,” such as a lack of domestic supplies.
On Oct. 16, 2018, Finance Minister Bill Morneau appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade where he noted 135 companies have already submitted remission requests.
Morneau provided an update on another category of support which involved loans from the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada. He said BDC has authorized loans totalling $131 million for 189 businesses, while EDC has authorized $44 million worth of loans for 24 clients.
To further protect the steel and aluminum industry, the government has announced counter-measures against foreign steel products by charging a surtax of 25% on seven steel products that fall outside of the quotas placed on them: heavy plate, concrete reinforcing bar, energy tubular products, hot-rolled sheet, pre-painted steel, stainless steel wire, and wire rod.
The safeguards took effect on Oct. 25, 2018.