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US removes 10% duty on Canadian aluminum, sets limitations

Highlights

US sets monthly quotas

Duty removed retrospective to Sept. 1

Pittsburgh — The US has removed the recently reimposed 10% duty on imports of non-alloyed unwrought aluminum from Canada, retrospective to Sept.1, finding that trade in unwrought aluminum is likely to normalize in the last four months of 2020, the United States Trade Representative's office (USTR) said Sept. 15.

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Average monthly imports of unwrought aluminum from Canada are expected to decline 50% from the monthly average in the period of January-through-July, according to the USTR. The decision to remove the tariffs follows consultations with the Canadian government, the USTR said.

The USTR said it expects shipments of non-alloyed unwrought aluminum from Canada to be no greater than 83,000 st in September, 70,000 st in October, 83,000 st in November and 70,000 st in December.

"If shipments in any month exceed the expected volume, the United States expects that shipments in the next month will decline by a corresponding amount," the USTR's office said.

The US will have six weeks following the end of each month during this period to determine whether actual shipments met expectations. If actual shipments exceeded 105% of the expected volume for any month during the four-month period, the US will impose the 10% tariff retroactively on all shipments made in that month, the USTR said.

"In addition to the forgoing, if imports exceed 105% of the expected volume in any month, the United States may reimpose the 10 percent tariff going forward," the USTR said. "The United States will consult with the Canadian government at the end of the year to review the state of the aluminum trade in light of trade patterns during the four-month period and expected market conditions in 2021."

The Trump administration placed 10% tariffs on primary aluminum imports, along with 25% tariffs on steel imports, in 2018, under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. Canada and Mexico were granted exemptions from the tariffs in 2019 amid negotiations for the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

The 10% aluminum tariffs were reimposed on Canada Aug. 16 following Trump's signing of a proclamation, citing national security concerns amid a surge of aluminum imports.