Trudeau considering more action to keep foreign dumped steel out of Canada

Sergio Conner
March 13, 2018

Other stops will include Hamilton, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., and Regina this week.

U.S. President Donald Trump greets Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., October 11, 2017.

The move follows fears that even though President Trump sparred Canada of the steel tariffs, job losses are still a possibility.

He noted that the integration of the Canadian and U.S. economies is particularly evident in the steel sector where $12-billion worth of the metal crosses the Canada-U.S. border annually. The Canadian aluminum industry?

However, he said, Canada would be alert to that and work with industry partners and the Americans to make sure that didn't happen.

"The boats are already on the way", Mr. Donnelly said. Canadian steel is in your tanks.

The tariffs Donald Trump unveiled last week could prompt steel to be shipped instead through Canada to skirt the levies, Trudeau said Tuesday at an ArcelorMittal Dofasco plant in Hamilton, Ontario.

The president's decision last week exempted Canada and Mexico "at least at this time", and called on the North American Free Trade Agreement partners to "take action to prevent transshipment" of aluminum and steel.

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Canada, the top supplier of steel and aluminum to the USA market, and Mexico have been temporarily exempted from the tariffs until trilateral continental trade talks conclude.

The steel tariff investigation was launched to see the impact of steel imports on US national security.

A heavy lobbying blitz by Canada after the tariffs were first announced March 1 helped convince the USA administration to exempt Canadian steel when the final announcement was made last week. Brazil, which is the second biggest supplier of steel to the United States after Canada, remains open for a dialogue to reach an understanding with the United States and is talking to other countries to learn about measures they are considering, he said.

"We are very concerned about the actions taken by China and the dumping of steel and aluminium on the global market", Trudeau said.

Veteran trade lawyer Larry Herman said Ottawa needs to act without going through a lengthy process at the World Trade Organization. "That policy should inform the world that Canada will be taking responsive measures, the details - and covered products - to be announced shortly".

Trudeau made the comments in Hamilton, after meeting with local steelworkers.

The prime minister is on a cross-country tour of aluminum and steel factories to demonstrate his government's support for workers in light of potential threats to those industries from the US administration.

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