News, Developments and Information

White House official says heavy’ talks underway to lift steel and aluminum tariff

WASHINGTON — A senior White House official said Sunday the optimism from Canada’s ambassador that the two countries will reach a deal on steel and aluminum tariffs is well founded.

On Thursday, Ambassador David MacNaughton told reporters he expected the two countries to reach a positive resolution on the tariffs within the “next few weeks.

Continue reading White House official says heavy’ talks underway to lift steel and aluminum tariff

TRADE UPDATE

DUTIES LOWERED ON LARGE DIAMETER PIPE, OTHER TARIFFS REMAIN

For the last six months, our large diameter welded pipe business has weathered great challenges in the face of increased trade barriers that combined have added a near-50 percent mark-up on our sales from Canada to the United States. Today, I am pleased to share with you that the U.S. Department of Commerce issued a determination that will provide at least some relief to ongoing trade-related difficulties our business faces.
In August 2018, following a petition filed by a coalition of U.S. pipe producers, the Commerce Department imposed a 24.38 percent anti-dumping duty on welded line pipe greater than 16-inch outside diameter exported from Canada into the United States. In its final determination issued today, Commerce affirmed the establishment of anti-dumping duties against several countries, including Canada, but established a 12.32 percent anti-dumping rate – half the previous rate – for EVRAZ North America large diameter welded pipe coming into the United States from Canada.
While we are encouraged by this announcement, other duties remain in place, including the Section 232 steel tariffs. For our large diameter welded pipe products, that 25 percent tariff on steel coming into the United States gets added onto the now-12.32 percent anti-dumping rate. An improvement, but still a significant premium our customers must pay.
I shared with you in August some of the steps we are taking to deal with the trade environment we find ourselves in, notably in dealings with our valued customers and as we engage political leaders in Washington and Ottawa. Those efforts continue as we work to push for the lifting of remaining tariffs negatively affecting our business. I’d particularly like to thank all of our colleagues who worked so hard on presenting our position to the Commerce Department, a cross-functional group pulling together sales, logistics and production data from across the company.
We have the highest-quality line pipe in the business and have significant opportunities for growth in the year ahead. Our business has gotten off to a strong start in 2019 and I am counting on all of you to focus on working safely as we improve our quality, increase our productivity and manage our costs all to meet the needs of our customers.

https://www.commerce.gov/news/press-releases/2019/02/us-department-commerce-finds-dumping-and-countervailable-subsidization

Canada quietly moves to resolve steel spat with Mexico

Finance Minister Bill Morneau has quietly reversed a controversial decision to slap a surtax on two types of Mexican steel imports.

Effective Feb. 2, up to a new limit, Mexican energy tubular products (such as those used to build pipelines) and wire rod shipments will no longer cost an extra 25 per cent under Canada’s emergency ‘safeguard’ measures.

Continue reading Canada quietly moves to resolve steel spat with Mexico

Steelworkers lead protest over dismissal of criminal charges in death of truck driver

Labour activists yesterday protested the dismissal of criminal charges against a concrete company accused of negligence in a truck driver’s death. Cabinet two years ago promised to step up enforcement of a law that made employers criminally liable for needless industrial accidents.

“The consequences of workplace deaths and injuries must be more than a cost of doing business,” Marty Warren, Ontario director of the United Steelworkers, yesterday said in a statement: “Since the law was enacted, there have been more than 15,000 workplace-related deaths in Canada.”

Continue reading Steelworkers lead protest over dismissal of criminal charges in death of truck driver

PROFIT SHARING DISCUSSIONS

As we have mentioned previous, the profit sharing discussions were to be scheduled in Toronto for Feb 13,2019. Due to weather in Toronto both the Unions and Company’s flights into Toronto have been canceled. We are working on securing another date as soon as possible and when that is know it will be passed on to our membership.

MEMBER ASSISTANCE

Brothers and Sisters,

In regards to yesterdays very unfortunate accident your union is asking for your assistance. We would like to collect money for our injured brother and his family and our looking for volunteers from each shift in each department to take up the collection. Anyone wishing to help out please call the office and talk to Mike Day or email at m.day@usw5890.com. We have thought about a go fund me page but have decided as this will all go directly to them this is the best option.

In solidarity.

Fight Against U.S. Anti-Dumping and CVD Trade Tariffs on Canadian Fabricated Structural Steel

MARKHAM, Ontario, Feb. 05, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC) strongly opposes the Petitions for the imposition of antidumping and countervailing duties on certain fabricated structural steel from Canada, filed by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) on February 4, 2019.

“AISC’s allegations that these products from Canada are unfairly traded and cause injury to U.S. producers of fabricated steel products are baseless,” says Ed Whalen, President & CEO of the CISC. “The negative effects of the Section 232 steel tariffs are the more likely cause of injury for the U.S. downstream steel sector, not Canada. Canada and the U.S. have been in each other’s markets for generations.”

Canadian fabricators of structural steel compete fairly in worldwide markets, including the United States. We offer high quality fabricated steel produced with significant experience in design and engineering with unique design-assist/engineering capabilities, delivered timely to customers. In addition, a significant number of Canadian fabricators have made important investments in the United States, such as establishing American subsidiaries and affiliates that produce fabricated structural steel and employ U.S. workers.

We are confident that the investigations will prove that imports from Canada are fairly traded and cause no injury to U.S. producers. We will vigorously defend our industry’s interests in these investigations.

BACKGROUND
On February 4, 2019, the AISC launched a trade action against China, Mexico and Canada on certain fabricated structural steel products. The U.S. Department of Commerce will be investigating these three countries for evidence of dumped and subsidized products. The U.S. International Trade Commission will be investigating whether the U.S. industry is being materially injured or threatened with material injury from the subject imports.

ABOUT CISC
The Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC) is Canada’s voice for the steel construction industry, providing leadership in sustainable design, advocacy, construction, efficiency, quality and innovation. The CISC’s efforts aim to advance the use and benefits of steel, increase Canadian market share, as well as advocate for a diverse community made up of manufacturers, fabricators, service centres, erectors, consultants, detailers, industry suppliers, owners and developers.

The Canadian steel construction sector is a vibrant $5 billion industry, which employs over 130,000 people in its supply chain.

American Institute of Steel Construction files antidumping petitions on Canadia imports of fabricated structural steel

The American Institute of Steel Construction, LLC (petitioner), on February 4, 2019, filed antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) petitions on imports of certain fabricated structural steel from Canada, China and Mexico.

The U.S. AD law imposes special tariffs to counteract imports that are sold in the United States at less than “normal value.” The U.S. CVD law imposes special tariffs to counteract imports that are sold in the United States with the benefit of foreign government subsidies. For AD/CVD duties to be imposed, the U.S. government must determine not only that dumping and/or subsidies are occurring, but also that there is “material injury” (or threat thereof) by reason of the dumped and/or subsidized imports. Importers are liable for any potential AD/CVD duties imposed. In addition, these investigations could impact purchasers by increasing prices and/or decreasing supply of certain fabricated structural steel.

Scope

The merchandise covered by this investigation includes carbon and alloy (including stainless) steel products such as angles, columns, beams, girders, plates, flange shapes (including manufactured structural shapes utilizing welded plates as a substitute for rolled wide flange sections), channels, hollow structural section (HSS) shapes, base plates, plate-work components, and other steel products that have been fabricated for assembly or installation into a structure (fabricated structural steel). Fabrication includes, but is not limited to, cutting, drilling, welding, joining, bolting, bending, punching, pressure fitting, molding, adhesion, and other processes.

Fabricated structural steel products included in the scope of this investigation are products in which: (1) iron predominates, by weight, over each of the other contained elements; and (2) the carbon content is two percent or less by weight.

Fabricated structural steel is covered by the scope of the investigation regardless of whether it is painted, varnished, or coated with plastics or other metallic or non-metallic substances. Fabricated structural steel may be either assembled; disassembled, but containing characteristics or items, such as holes, fasteners, nuts, bolts, rivets, screws, tongue and grooves, hinges, or joints, so that the product(s) may be joined, attached, or assembled to one or more additional product(s); or partially assembled, such as into modules, modularized construction units, or sub-assemblies of fabricated structural steel.

Products under investigation include carbon and alloy steel products that have been fabricated for erection or assembly into structures, including but not limited to, buildings (commercial, office, institutional, and multi-family residential); industrial and utility projects; parking decks; arenas and convention centers; medical facilities; and ports, transportation and infrastructure facilities.

Subject merchandise includes fabricated structural steel that has been assembled or further processed in the subject country or a third country, including but not limited to painting, varnishing, trimming, cutting, drilling, welding, joining, bolting, punching, bending, beveling, riveting, galvanizing, coating, and/or slitting or any other processing that would not otherwise remove the merchandise from the scope of the Investigation if performed in the country of manufacture of the fabricated structural steel.

Fabricated structural steel may be attached, joined, or assembled with non-steel components at the time of importation. The inclusion, attachment, joining, or assembly of non-steel components with fabricated structural steel does not remove the fabricated structural steel from the scope.

All products that meet the written physical description are within the scope of this investigation unless specifically excluded. Specifically excluded from the scope of this investigation is certain fabricated steel concrete reinforcing bar (“rebar”). Fabricated rebar is excluded from the scope only if (i) it is a unitary piece of fabricated rebar, not joined, welded, or otherwise connected with any other steel product or part; or (ii) it is joined, welded, or otherwise connected only to other rebar.

Also excluded from this scope is fabricated structural steel used for bridges and bridge sections. For the purpose of this scope, fabricated structural steel used for bridges and bridge sections is defined as fabricated structural steel that is used in bridges and bridge sections and that conforms to American Association of State and Highway and Transportation Officials (“AASHTO”) bridge construction requirements or any state or local derivatives of the AASHTO bridge construction requirements.

Also excluded from this scope are pre-engineered metal building systems. For the purposes of this scope, pre-engineered metal building systems are defined as complete metal buildings that integrate steel framing, roofing and walls to form one, pre-engineered building system and are designed and manufactured to Metal Building Manufacturers Association guide specifications. Pre-engineered metal building systems are typically limited in height to no more than 60 feet or two stories.

Also excluded from this scope are steel roof and floor decking systems designed and manufactured to Steel Deck Institute standards.

Also excluded from the scope are open web steel bar joists and joist girders that are designed and manufactured to Steel Joist Institute specifications.

The products subject to the investigation are currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under subheadings: 7308.90.9590, 7308.90.3000, and 7308.90.6000.

The products subject to the investigation may also enter under the following HTSUS subheadings: 7216.91.0010, 7216.91.0090, 7216.99.0010, 7216.99.0090, 7228.70.6000, 7301.10.0000, 7301.20.1000, 7301.20.5000, 7308.40.0000, 7308.90.9530, and 9406.90.0030.

The HTSUS subheadings above are provided for convenience and customs purposes only. The written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

Alleged Dumping Margins

The petitioner alleges the following dumping margins:

  • Canada: 31.46 percent
  • Mexico: 41.39 percent
  • China: 218.85 percent

The petitioner identified numerous possible subsidy programs, but did not allege specific subsidy rates.

Estimated Schedule of Investigations

  • February 4, 2019 – Petition is filed
  • February 25, 2019 – DOC initiates investigation
  • February 26, 2019 – ITC staff conference
  • March 21, 2019 – Deadline for ITC preliminary injury determinations
  • May 1, 2019 – Deadline for DOC preliminary CVD determination, if not postponed
  • July 5, 2019 – Deadline for DOC preliminary CVD determination, if fully postponed
  • July 15, 2019 – Deadline for DOC preliminary AD determination, if not postponed
  • September 3, 2019 – Deadline for DOC preliminary AD determination, if fully postponed

Ottawa calls Ford gov’t call to drop retaliatory tariffs “unilateral surrender” to Americans

Ottawa dismissed a call from Ontario’s economic development minister Monday to drop retaliatory tariffs against the United States, saying doing so would mean “unilateral surrender” to the Americans.

The federal government applied tariffs on $16.6-billion worth of American imports of steel, aluminum and other products after the U.S. imposed steel and aluminum levies last year.

Ontario’s Economic Development Minister Todd Smith had said earlier on Monday that the tariffs are hurting industries and workers in both countries, and if Canada dropped its countermeasure tariffs the U.S. could drop theirs.

Federal Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains rejected the suggestion, saying in a statement that his government has been hard at work pressuring the Americans to end the trade dispute.

“The Ford government’s call for Canada to unilaterally and unconditionally remove its counter-tariffs would equal unilateral surrender to the Americans,” Bains wrote. “The reciprocal tariffs are critical to pressuring the Americans to end this dispute once and for all.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has discussed the tariffs over the phone with U.S. President Donald Trump and Finance Minister Bill Morneau has met with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Bains said the last time any Ontario official visited Washington was five months ago.

“While we’re standing up against illegal U.S. tariffs and supporting steel and aluminum workers in Ontario, Doug Ford’s government is nowhere to be seen,” Bains wrote. “We’re not aware of any efforts by the Ontario government to persuade any American leaders to drop the tariffs — no meetings, no phone calls.”

Smith noted that Premier Doug Ford met at the auto show in Detroit with car makers, who are concerned about the tariffs.

Doug Ford, Ontario’s premier, speaks during an event at the Economic Club of Canada in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. Cole Burston/Bloomberg

“We continue to burn up the phone lines in the U.S. to remind them that these tariffs are hurting them just as much as they’re hurting us,” he said. “Ontario is doing its part, now it’s time for the federal government to do theirs.”

Ford has suggested to the federal government that Canada’s tariffs should be dropped first, Smith said, though he admitted there is no indication doing so would lead the U.S. to in turn remove its tariffs.

“But clearly something has to be done,” Smith said. “These tariffs have been in place since June of last year and there’s been no movement on this.”

Smith and Quebec Economy and Innovation Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon sent a letter Monday to Morneau, calling on Ottawa to secure the permanent removal of all tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum.

Both Algoma Steel (TSX:AGA) and the Canadian Steel Producers Association tweeted that the retaliatory measures are necessary.

The tariffs were imposed last year by the U.S., and the American commerce secretary has said they were designed to address the world’s overproduction and overcapacity of steel. The federal Liberals were criticized last fall for signing a new North American trade pact, which includes the U.S., without securing any guarantees from Washington that it would lift the levies.

Ottawa has announced a financial aid package for industries caught in the crossfire, including up to $2 billion in new funding and support for workers in steel, aluminum and manufacturing sectors.

Canada has rejected the premise of the American duties — that its metals exports pose a national-security threat to the U.S. — and has been fighting for the removal of the tariffs.

The United States is also coming under pressure from American automakers, aluminum producers, manufacturers and farmers to put an end to the tariff standoff.

Industry emissaries are warning that Trump’s tariffs on Mexican and Canadian steel and aluminum, as well as their reciprocal countermeasures, are rapidly undermining whatever benefits the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement will produce once it takes effect.

Embassy is drafting a list of American officials for Trudeau’s ministers to lobby


Katie Simpson · CBC News · Posted: Jan 10, 2019

“Canada has engaged in a number of charm offensives … and so far, those efforts have yielded next to nothing” .

                                                                                                                                      -Marc Rowlinson

The prime minister’s inner circle is ramping up another lobbying push in Washington to terminate American tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Two senior government sources say that ministers with connections to American national security portfolios will be tasked with reaching out to specific U.S. officials to push Canada’s anti-tariff message.

The campaign is based on Canada’s long-standing position that the tariffs are both illegal and absurd.

Last June, the Trump administration invoked a rarely used national security provision — Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 — to impose 25 per cent tariffs on imported steel and 10 per cent tariffs on imported aluminum.

The tariffs are based on the argument that, in the event of a national emergency, the U.S. needs robust domestic steel and aluminum industries. Canada has openly attacked the tariffs, pointing out that Canada is not a threat to U.S. national security.

One source said the new lobbying campaign actually began when Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland met with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a visit to Washington in December.

Early in the new year, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan delivered a similar anti-tariff message over the phone to the new U.S. acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan​.

And Finance Minister Bill Morneau also made Canada’s case during a face-to-face meeting with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin in Washington yesterday.

Now, the lobbying push is seeking new targets. Officials at the Canadian embassy in Washington are drafting a list of influential Americans who may be open to Canada’s message.

Once that list is complete, individual ministers will be tasked with reaching out to those officials, by phone or in person, to press Canada’s case.

Both Freeland and Morneau will use the upcoming World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland as a forum to meet with their American counterparts and push them to nix the tariffs.

They won’t see U.S. President Donald Trump there. Trump announced on Twitter today that he would be skipping the forum to focus on the current federal government shutdown and a swelling dispute with House Democrats over his demand for a border wall.

Paul Moen, a principal at Earnscliffe Strategy Group and an international trade lawyer, said Canada’s strategy makes sense — but it should also reach out to business and labour leaders and the new faces in Congress who took office in the November midterm elections.

“With the new Congress in place, that’s a new opportunity to build some new relationships, build on some old ones, but also to broaden the engagement with the business community, with the labour community,” he told CBC News.

But Mark Rowlinson, a spokesman for United Steelworkers Canada, said the window for charm offensives has long since closed and it’s time for Canada to draw “a line in the sand” by refusing to ratify the revamped North American trade deal until the tariffs are dropped.

“I’m skeptical​,” he said. “It’s clearly the case that Canada has never posed a threat to U.S. national security, and I don’t think anyone on either side of the border has ever really taken that seriously. Canada has engaged in a number of charm offensives … and so far, those efforts have yielded next to nothing.

“What they should be doing is saying, ‘We will not sign, we will not ratify the new Canada-U.S.-Mexico trade agreement, unless and until these tariffs are dropped.”

In fact, neither of the two senior government sources who spoke to CBC News is optimistic that Trump will abandon his enthusiasm for tariffs any time soon.

On Tuesday, Trump tweeted a defence of his tariff policy by quoting an interview on Fox News with Mark Glyptis, a local president of the United Steelworkers union from West Virginia.

One of the sources said that Canada will be stepping away from any arguments that connect the tariffs to the updated North American free trade agreement.

Some American lawmakers and business leaders who oppose the tariffs have said publicly they should be dropped, since they were meant only to serve as leverage in the trade negotiations.

One of the sources told CBC that Canada doesn’t want to touch that argument because it’s too similar to the line Mexican officials are taking in their own push to end the American tariffs.

Canada does not want to be lumped in with Mexico, the source said, because Mexico might end up agreeing with American demands for export quotas on steel.

CBC News has reported that American trade officials want both Canada and Mexico to accept caps on how much steel they can import into the United States, based on a portion of what was imported in 2017.

“That’s crazy,” said the source, adding Canada will not entertain the idea of accepting quotas.

Texting

In the mail-out you received from the local regarding the C.A.T team and texting program, we just wanted to inform everyone that this is a NEW texting program. If you were signed up before on the old program you will need to sign up to this one. All the info is on the card in the mail-out.

Merry Christmas

Season’s Greetings from your USW 5890 executive. We would like to wish everyone a safe and  Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. All the best to our brother’s and sister’s .

Trudeau’s Tariff Failure Threatens New Year Devastation for Many Canadians

The following opinion column by Ken Neumann, United Steelworkers National Director for Canada, has been published in the Globe and Mail.

A gloomy holiday season awaits thousands of Canadians whose livelihoods depend on our domestic steel and aluminum industries, their family gatherings sure to be tinged by a sense of foreboding for what lies ahead in the new year.

For months, workers and manufacturers across the country have increasingly been feeling the threat stemming from U.S. tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum – levies that are widely recognized as illegal under international trade rules. These fears are exacerbated by recurring reports that the United States is making unacceptable demands for export quotas as alternatives to the illegal tariffs.

A chilling reality is setting in for more and more Canadians – our government has surrendered its leverage to fix the steel and aluminum crisis and avert devastation for so many families and communities.

Federal government data indicate that since the Trump administration’s “national security” tariffs came into effect in June, monthly Canadian steel exports to the United States have plummeted by up to 29 per cent and aluminum exports have dropped by as much as 25 per cent.

Canada’s steel and aluminum sectors directly and indirectly support 175,000 middle-class jobs across the country. With no positive resolution to the tariff dispute in sight, these Canadian families and businesses are bracing for the worst in 2019.

Business, community and labour leaders have been clear in warning Ottawa of the potential for massive, permanent damage from the crisis. Continue reading Trudeau’s Tariff Failure Threatens New Year Devastation for Many Canadians

November C.O.L.A Release

The CPI figure for October was released on November 23, 2018. Per the Collective
Agreement, the following calculation will apply:
October 2018 138.7
July 2018 138.0
Difference .7
Divide difference by .063 = $0.11
Effective with the first pay period after the release, COLA will be $0.91 per straight-time
hour worked as it was previously $0.80.

Standing Up Against Unfair U.S. Tariffs on Canadian Steel and Aluminum

 

The USW Fights for All Canadian Steel and Aluminum Workers

 

Faced with absurd American ‘national security’ tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum products, only the United Steelworkers has consistently stood up for our members and all workers in Canada’s steel and aluminum industries.

 

USW leaders on both sides of the border have been unequivocal in our opposition to the Trump administration’s baseless tariffs of 25% on Canadian steel and 10% on Canadian aluminum. On May 31, the USW International Executive Board unanimously and publicly condemned these bogus tariffs and Trump’s approach to the Canada-U.S. trading relationship.

 

Everyone knows Canada does not pose a national security threat to the U.S. – including Donald Trump. Trump acknowledged he was just using the baseless tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum as leverage to extract concessions from Canada in the renegotiations on NAFTA.

 

Sadly, Canada’s Liberal government submitted to Trump’s numerous concession demands in the new trade deal – the USMCA. Even more unforgiveable, the Liberals did not even insist that Trump hold up his end of the bargain – lifting the bogus tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum.

 

The magnitude of the Canadian government’s sell-out was made clear by Trump’s economics adviser, who gloated that “Canada gave very graciously.”

The Liberal government has attempted to justify the sell-out by arguing steel and aluminum tariffs were separate from the USMCA negotiations. However, Steelworkers – and the news media – have exposed this argument as patently false.

The USW has generated national media coverage by highlighting the fact that the Liberals agreed to a trade deal that legitimizes such baseless U.S. ‘national-security’ tariffs on our key industries – now and into the future. Canada’s national newspaper, the Globe and Mail, published my opinion column exposing this critical issue.

Unlike some others in the labour movement who are cheerleading this abject failure, Steelworkers are at the forefront in denouncing the USMCA for exactly what it is – a sell-out of tens of thousands of Canadian working families, in the steel and aluminum sectors, in dairy, egg and poultry farming, and the list goes on.

 

Those who negotiated this deal – with help from some in our labour movement – sold out steel and aluminum workers in exchange for some protections for auto workers.

 

It must be awkward for union leaders who support the USMCA and have members working in both the auto sector and the aluminum industry. As Steelworkers, we will never sell out one group of workers for another.

 

It is only the United Steelworkers who have consistently stood up for all Canadian steel and aluminum workers in our strong opposition to the tariffs and to the USMCA.

Continue reading Standing Up Against Unfair U.S. Tariffs on Canadian Steel and Aluminum

: Steel Quotas won’t work for most Canadian producers say MPs, industry reps (incl. Mark Rowlinson)

Federal MPs representing ridings affected by American tariffs on Canadian steel exports say they’re skeptical that a quota-based system can be a solution to the ongoing trade dispute, even after one major steel producer recently stepped forward to tell the House International Trade Committee that it would support certain quotas in exchange for a duty exemption.

At the committee meeting on Oct. 2, Kaylan Ghosh, president and CEO of Algoma Steel, located in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., recommended the government “explore a quota-based system” as a solution for securing tariff exemptions.

Mr. Ghosh signalled openness to accepting a quota system similar to what Canada and the U.S. agreed to in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on autos. Under the agreement in principle, Canada and Mexico will not be slapped with auto tariffs unless exports exceed 2.6 million units annually—a threshold significantly higher than current export volumes.

Such a scenario isn’t ideal for the industry, he said, but given that U.S. President Donald Trump indicated that quotas are his preferred approach, and that other countries have bowed down to those conditions, Canada could negotiate a similar fix.

Mr. Ghosh said a potential system should reflect historic exports levels to the U.S., and have the quota distributed company- and product-wise to ensure fairness and certainty over exports reaching American buyers. His company represents 40 per cent of the Sault Ste. Marie’s economic output, a city that has seen major job losses in the sector in the last generation.

His remarks to MPs came a day after USMCA was formally agreed upon by the three member countries, although the steel and aluminum tariff spat remains unresolved. On Oct. 1, Mr. Trump told journalists on the White House lawn that the tariffs will remain “until such time as we can do something different, like quotas, so that our industry is protected.” Continue reading : Steel Quotas won’t work for most Canadian producers say MPs, industry reps (incl. Mark Rowlinson)

Financial PosT: Gov’t will impose 25% surtax on some foreign steel products; Morneau to appear at Int’l Trade Committee on Tuesday, Oct. 16

The Canadian government says it will impose a 25 per cent surtax on some foreign steel products in a bid to head off dumping.

The Finance Department said “excessive imports” are harming the steel industry, prompting it to impose a surtax on seven products that range from rebar to wire rods.

The surtax, which begins Oct. 25, will be in place for 200 days, pending an inquiry by the Canadian International Trade Tribunal into whether longer-lasting safeguards are necessary, the government said.

The announcement comes more than three months after Canada imposed tariffs on $16.6 billion worth of American goods in retaliation for hefty U.S. tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum.

The government also announced Thursday that some Canadian manufacturers can now import those products from the U.S. without paying the surtaxes that have applied since July 1. A portion of the relief will be temporary, offered until Canadian producers are able to adequately meet domestic demand.

The exemption applies on a case-by-case basis to companies that applied for it, and pertains to American steel, aluminum and certain other products.

The products affected by the fresh tariffs go into structures from condominiums to dams and bridges, “which encompasses a heck of a lot of steel,” said Jesse Goldman, a lawyer representing the Canadian Coalition for Construction Steel.

He said the surtax puts the construction steel industry in “a very dire position” because of Canada’s limited domestic steel supply.

“Because of the actual quota amounts for this type of steel from non-U.S. sources, U.S. steel is going to come into Canada at record high prices. They will simply pass on the 25 per cent retaliatory tariffs to their Canadian customers.”

The surtax on steel plates and other products could “jeopardize” mega-projects in Newfoundland, which relies almost exclusively on foreign steel, primarily from Europe, Goldman said.

A lot of imported structural steel has been put toward the refurbishment of the Parliament buildings, he added. “It’s more ironic than intentional, but it gives you an example of the importance of imported steel in Canada.”

The country’s geography deters West Coast buyers from purchasing from central Canadian mills. It costs more than four times extra to ship a tonne of steel to Vancouver from Ontario than it does from China or Korea, said Richard Lyall, president of the Residential Construction Council of Ontario.

With rebar an essential component in residential towers, the new steel tariff could boost the price of new condos in Vancouver by up to $10,000 per unit, Lyall said.

“Housing affordability got thrown under the bus on this one,” he said.

Continue reading Financial PosT: Gov’t will impose 25% surtax on some foreign steel products; Morneau to appear at Int’l Trade Committee on Tuesday, Oct. 16

Meeting with Minister Goodale

On Friday October 5th parts of your Union Executive met with Minister Ralph Goodale . In attendance for the Union was myself {Mike Day}, Ryan Mckenzie and  USW Staff Rep Patrick Veinot.

 

There was lots of discussion on what we can recycle, orders that we have down to the U.S. Questions on the Cheniere Line that we did that started the duties. He was also curious about the plants in the states, if they can do what we can. He brought up the LNG project that has been approved and hopes they use our products even though it is his understanding that some of it has to be brought in and can’t be produced here.

 

We brought up the obvious regarding the tariffs and the government leaving out steel and aluminum in the negotiations. How We had discussions with him over 15 months ago when this started coming to light{ section 232} and steel was what brought this to the for front and how could we be left  behind. We’ve seen Wilbur Ross talk about how a new agreement would then naturally have the tariffs go away. This is as important to him as it is to us and he told us they are actively working on it. Freeland and Lighthizer are meeting this week and continuing discussions. I told him we don’t see how a “quota system” is beneficial to anyone this side of border and isn’t good in general.

 

We brought up how dumping has increased here in Canada and their response was that in the next couple weeks we should here some news on the “Safeguards”. Below was just released from the Federal Government last night.

News Release

Backgrounder – Relief for Canadian Businesses from Countermeasures on Certain U.S. Imports

Backgrounder – Support for Canadian Steel Producers Through Provisional Safeguards on Certain Steel Imports

His office is to keep in touch with us to continue these discussions and would like to know what our membership would like to see. The initial response was Duties and Tariffs gone and Unions to have the ability to file trade/dumping cases .

 

Anonymous source says tariffs won’t be lifted anytime soon

Canada does not hold out much hope that Washington will quickly lift tariffs that it imposed on steel and aluminum exports and is resisting a U.S. push to agree to strict quotas, two sources familiar with the matter said.

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump imposed the tariffs on Canada and Mexico in June, citing national security reasons. Although Canada and Mexico agreed a renewed continental trade deal last week, the measures remain in place.

The Canadian government is pessimistic about the chances of the tariffs being removed soon, said the sources, who asked to remain anonymous, given the sensitivity of the situation. Continue reading Anonymous source says tariffs won’t be lifted anytime soon

Not true that steel and aluminum tariffs are separate issue from USMCA deal

USMCA’s fatal flaw: ‘national-security’ tariffs

Ken Neumann

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published 15 hours ago Updated October 10, 2018

Ken Neumann is the United Steelworkers’ national director for Canada.

Lost in the debate on the Canadian government’s many concessions in the proposed United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement – “Canada gave very graciously,” as U.S. President Donald Trump’s economics adviser gloated – are disturbing provisions allowing Mr. Trump and future U.S. presidents to continue to impose baseless “national-security” tariffs on key Canadian exports.

When the USMCA was announced last week, it was both shocking and profoundly disappointing to see Canadian officials toasting this new trade deal while the United States maintained devastating tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum exports.

The Trump administration imposed the tariffs – 25 per cent on Canadian steel and 10 per cent on Canadian aluminum – on June 1, on the spurious basis that these imports pose a threat to U.S. national security under Section 232 of American trade law. Continue reading Not true that steel and aluminum tariffs are separate issue from USMCA deal

No obvious moves to remove tarifs on steel and aluminum says head of Rideau-Potomac Strategy Group – could uranium be next?

When you break norms, those norms are very difficult to re-establish,’ says one former policy adviser to the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Despite the safeguards against damaging penalties on Canada’s auto industry under the continent’s newly renamed trilateral trade agreement, the American ability to impose destructive tariffs under the guise of national security protection remains a lingering threat, according to trade experts who warn the damage may have already been done with aluminum and steel.

Since May 31, Canadian aluminum and steel have been subject to tariffs of 10 per cent and 25 per cent, respectively, which were imposed under Section 232 of America’s Trade Expansion Act. The provision in the 1962 legislation allows the U.S. government to impose quotas or tariffs on imported products for national security reasons—a rarely used tool before the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump.

If the U.S. wants to impose more tariffs on Canadian goods, it can say anything is a national security threat, since it’s already done it once, said Eric Miller, a former senior policy adviser to the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C., and current head of the Rideau Potomac Strategy Group.

“You have this situation where something that was meant to be a rarely used instrument has now become something that, over the course of the last few months, has basically become a normal part of trade policy that is designed to drive changes and concessions from established U.S. trading partners,” Mr. Miller said.

Canadian negotiators were unable to get the steel and aluminum tariffs lifted as part of the USMCA talks, but speaking to reporters on Oct. 1 in the National Press Theatre, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Papineau, Que.) flanked by Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland (University-Rosedale, Ont.) said, “moving forward on eliminating the tariffs on steel and aluminum remains a priority for us.”

Ms. Freeland added that Canada is looking to take advantage of the momentum that they have generated through the conclusion of USMCA negotiations to “intensify conversations” on steel and aluminum tariffs.

During negotiations, Canada was able to gain some protections from additional Section 232 actions, through two separate side letters in the trade pact. Canada is exempted from auto tariffs under a threshold of 2.6 million passenger vehicles exported to the U.S. from Canada annually, as well as on all light trucks, and $32.4-billion US worth of auto parts. Canada also was granted a 60-day reprieve before a Section 232 action comes into effect where Canada and the U.S. can negotiate a resolution to the dispute. Continue reading No obvious moves to remove tarifs on steel and aluminum says head of Rideau-Potomac Strategy Group – could uranium be next?