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Canada to introduce 25% tariff on certain steel imports

Pittsburgh — The Canadian government said Thursday it will introduce a provisional 25% tariff on certain steel imports, beginning October 25, in an effort to prevent the diversion of cheap foreign steel imports into the country.

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The new tariff will apply to seven imported steel products -- heavy plate, rebar, energy tubular products, hot-rolled coil, pre-painted steel, stainless steel wire and wire rod -- in cases where the level of imports from trading partners exceeds historical norms, according to Canada's Department of Finance.

The provisional safeguards will remain in place for 200 days, pending an investigation by the Canadian International Trade Tribunal which will determine whether final safeguards are warranted.

Canada had launched a 15-day public consultation process in August on products that had seen recent increases in imports following a decision by the US in March to begin implementing a 25% tariff on steel imports under Section 232. In July, Canada began applying reciprocal tariffs on $16.6 billion of imports of steel, aluminum and other products from the US in response to the US metals tariffs, which Canada has repeatedly referred to as "unjustified and counterproductive."

Canada's government also announced Thursday targeted relief from tariffs collected on US imports of steel, aluminum and other products for Canadian companies.

"Given the longstanding integration of Canada-US supply chains, the Government recognizes that Canadian countermeasures against US imports can create challenges for Canadian manufacturers that rely on steel and aluminum imported from the US," Canada's Department of Finance said in a statement. "In light of this, 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."

Companies that have applied for and have been granted relief can now import these goods without paying tariffs, though a portion of this relief will be temporary, as it is only offered until such time that Canadian producers are able to adequately meet domestic demand, the Department of Finance said, adding that the relief is only provided where warranted by exceptional circumstances.

The government will continue to assess, on a case-by-case basis, relief applications based on market conditions including supply shortages, it said.

--Justine Coyne,

--Edited by Pankti Mehta,