steel tariffs

Industry welcomes removal of steel tariffs

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The removal of U.S. steel  and aluminum tariffs along with all Canadian countermeasures is being welcomed by the construction industry.

In a joint statement, the Government of Canada announced the elimination of the 25 per cent steel tariffs imposed by the U.S., citing Section 232, as well as Canada‘s countermeasure actions. As part of the agreement, Canada and the U.S. will work together to develop a process that will monitor steel trade among them, as well as from countries outside of North America, to prevent subsidized and/or dumped steel entering both countries.

The Vancouver Regional Construction Association (VRCA), the Canadian Construction Association (CCA) and British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA) have been advocating for the removal of the steel and aluminum tariffs since it was first imposed in 2018.

“This is very good news for B.C.’s construction industry,” said Fiona Famulak, VRCA president. “The lifting of tariffs – and more importantly, the ending of the trade dispute – allows construction projects to move forward with certainty about the price and supply of goods and materials that have been tariffed for almost 11 months.”

Canada is a net importer of certain types of steel. Because shipping domestic steel across Canada by rail or truck is prohibitively expensive, the B.C. construction industry relies heavily on steel from both the U.S. and overseas to build our cities and infrastructure.

VRCA was concerned that tariffs on steel and aluminum critical for construction had the potential to delay or defer projects in the B.C. marketplace. The tariffs disrupted supply chains and created uncertainty at a time when British Columbia and Canada is investing billions of dollars necessary to build its infrastructure.

“This news will bring much needed relief to the construction industry, helping to restore business confidence and create stability in the marketplace,” said Mary Van Buren, CCA president.

“The BC Construction Association commends the efforts of the Canadian Construction Association on this important national advocacy file as they leaned-in alongside and on behalf of their provincial and regional construction associations,” said Chris Atchison, BCCA president.

According to the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC), the removal of the U.S. steel tariffs means Canada’s downstream steel construction sectors and steel fabricators are once again able to operate and bid on construction projects without contractual risk and uncertainty. The Canadian steel industry can remain globally competitive, providing quality steel products and structures on both sides of the border.

“We’re pleased to see such a positive resolution for the removal of the U.S. steel tariffs. Canadian steel companies and their employees deserve a fair chance to succeed and this negotiation has given them an opportunity to do so once again,” says Ed Whalen, CISC president and CEO.

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