One day after a phone meeting between Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Donald Trump, Ottawa announced measures to prevent Canada being used as a back door for the import of cheap offshore steel imports destined for the US.
Canada had promised to implement such measures after it was exempted from heavy tariffs the US threatened to impose on steel (25%) and aluminum (10%).
Among the measures:
– the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will be empowered to prevent companies from avoiding US tariffs by modifying products or assembling them in Canada or elsewhere and then shipping them to the US with “made in Canada” labelling.
– the CBSA will monitor prices in the domestic market of an exporting company to determine whether pricing is legitimate or deceptive.
– labour unions will be allowed to participate in trade remedy proceedings.
The Globe and Mail reports that Canada already has 71 trade remedy measures in place to stem imports of aluminum and steel. Canadian steel makers, as well as some Canadian and US buyers of steel, have asked Ottawa to crack down on the diversion of US-destined steel and aluminum shipments to Canada, where the metal can be shipped on to the US or sold in Canada, undermining Canadian steel producers.