Lifting of aluminum and steel tariffs a win for businesses

There was some good news for manufacturers, suppliers and end users of aluminum and steel products ahead of the Victoria Day weekend with the lifting of steel and aluminum import tariffs throughout North America.

Canada had imposed a retaliatory tariff of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum after U.S. President Donald Trump imposed identical import taxes last summer as a way of pushing through a renegotiated NAFTA trade agreement with Canada and Mexico – known as USMCA.

The agreement allows for measures to be put in place to prevent the importation of aluminum and steel that is unfairly subsidized and/or sold at dumped prices, and prevent the transshipment of aluminum and steel made outside of Canada or the United States to the other country. Canada will also now drop its legal actions against the U.S. tariffs at the World Trade Organization.

The tax had increased prices on many plumbing and HVAC/R products, but it is now hoped a period of price stability will follow the agreement.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hailed the lifting of import tariffs as a win for Canadian businesses.

“We immediately retaliated dollar-for-dollar — the strongest retaliation in the world. We stood firm and would not back down until we achieved today’s outcome,” Trudeau said.