Trade Regulation Updates

U.S. Backs Down On Aluminum Tariffs

September 16, 2020

On August 6, 2020, the US announced the imposition of tariffs of 10 per cent on imports of certain aluminum products from Canada. This surtax came into effect on August 16th 2020

In response to these measures on August 7th of this year, Canada announced it was imposing a reciprocal “dollar for dollar” surtax in retaliation to the unjust tariffs US President Donald Trump's administration imposed on imports of Canadian Aluminum. The Canadian Government opened discussion with industry stakeholders for 1 month which was closed on September 6th and has now reviewed the information provided by industry. An announcement in regards to the finalized list of retaliatory tariffs was to be unveiled September 15th 2020 with implementation to commence September 16th 2020.

Just hours before Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade Minister Mary Ng were to announce Canada's final countermeasure, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) office announced it will unilaterally lift the 10% US tariff on imports of Canadian aluminum. The lifting of the US tariff is retroactive to September 1st, 2020.

As a result Canada will not be implementing reciprocal 10% tariffs on US aluminum products.

The USTR has said that they may seek to re-impose tariffs if the import levels raise above a certain threshold (quota) over the next four months. The Canadian government's position is that Canada will seek to impose retaliatory countermeasures that are perfectly reciprocal, dollar for dollar, in response to any tariffs that may be imposed in the future. 

Again, at this time, Canada will not implement reciprocal 10% tariffs on US aluminum products.