Steel and aluminum

Canada’s steel and aluminum industries are key contributors to the Canadian economy, providing well-paying jobs and key inputs for other major industries, including energy, advanced manufacturing, construction, and auto-making.

The Canadian steel industry employs more than 23,000 Canadians and contributes $4.2 billion to Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP). The Canadian aluminum industry employs 10,500 workers while contributing $4.7 billion to Canada’s GDP.

The Canadian and U.S. steel and aluminum industries are deeply integrated, and underpin continental supply chains that strengthen the global competitiveness of the North American economy. Canada is a longstanding safe and secure supplier of steel and aluminum to the U.S. defence industry.

Canada buys more American steel than any other country in the world, accounting for 49% of U.S. exports in 2018. In 2018, over $13 billion of steel was traded between Canada and the United States.

On aluminum, Canada and the U.S. share a highly integrated market with combined trade of $14.5 billion annually. About 76% of Canada’s primary aluminum production is exported to the United States, where it is used as an important input for further processing into products for U.S. domestic and export markets.

U.S. tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum

On May 31, 2018, the United States announced that tariffs of 25% on imports of Canadian steel and 10% on imports of Canadian aluminum would take effect on June 1, 2018.

On May 31, 2018, in response to the unprecedented tariffs, Canada announced its intention to impose on July 1, 2018 surtaxes or similar trade-restrictive countermeasures on up to $16.6 billion in imports of steel, aluminum and other products from the United States, representing the value of 2017 Canadian exports affected by the U.S. measures.

On May 17, 2019, Canada and the United States reached an understanding on Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum to eliminate all tariffs the United States imposed under Section 232 on Canadian imports of steel and aluminum, and all tariffs Canada imposed in retaliation for the Section 232 action taken by the United States. The joint Statement by Canada and the United States is available below.

Steel Provisional Safeguards

In the context of global conditions affecting trade in steel, and further to public consultations in August 2018, the Government of Canada is imposing provisional safeguards in the form of tariff rate quotas (TRQs) on seven classes of steel goods. The provisional safeguards will take effect on October 25, 2018. The TRQs will be administered by Global Affairs Canada by way of shipment-specific imports permits. Goods that are not covered by a valid import permit at time of accounting will be subject to a twenty-five percent surtax. Please refer to the Notice to Importers, Serial No. 911, and the Frequently Asked Questions for detailed information on which products and countries are covered by the TRQs, how the TRQs will be administered and how to apply for a shipment-specific permit.


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