Aluminum is more than just cans, with the automotive sector leaning more heavily on the material as a lighter alternative to steelClick image to enlargeThe U.S. has balked on its 10 per cent tariff on Canadian P1020 aluminum, announcing that it would remove those tariffs one day before Canada’s retaliatory tariffs were to go into effect, and mere weeks after the tariffs were enacted.

"Canada's aluminium industry is glad to regain its continued tariff-free entry into the U.S. market, as it strives to meet its integrated value chain requirements in a post-COVID recovery," said Jean Simard, president and CEO of the Aluminium Association of Canada. "Our shared future through a renewed CUSMA rightly deserves our best effort on behalf of our workers, their families and their communities.''

The office of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the decision was made after it was determined “that trade in non-alloyed, unwrought aluminum is likely to normalize in the last four months of 2020," with imports declining sharply from the surges experienced earlier in the year.

“Removing these disruptive and unnecessary tariffs on Canadian aluminum was the right decision for the U.S. aluminum industry and its 162,000 workers,” said Tom Dobbins president and CEO of The Aluminum Association, which came out against the tariffs as they were announced. “Especially as the industry continues to recover from the worst of the COVID-driven demand disruptions, it is vital that we keep North American aluminum supply chains open and unencumbered,” said Dobbins.

Jerry Diaz, national president of Unifor, says workers on both sides of the border would lose in an aluminum trade war.

"This dispute was no doubt resolved thanks to the stance taken by Justin Trudeau's government and the efforts led by Chrystia Freeland and Mary Ng," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. "It was the impending countermeasures that helped U.S. trade representatives realize that Canada was not going to take this lying down."

The American Primary Aluminum Association (APPA), the association representing U.S. producers Century Aluminum and Magnitude 7 Metals and the only voice calling for the tariffs, has not yet commented.

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