Spike in Canada’s cheap steel imports following US tariffs

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Canada’s finance minister warned Tuesday that US tariffs on steel have led to a spike in imports of cheap foreign steel that threaten the local industry.

“We’ve seen increases in imports,” Minister Bill Morneau told reporters.

“We’re concerned with, as a matter of fact of tariffs that have been imposed in the United States, that there will be producers in other parts of the world that will divert their steel to Canada, causing harm to Canadian producers,” he said.

Morneau said he would consult with industry executives over the coming weeks before deciding on measures to block the surge in cheap steel imports.

He noted that any action would target specific products, and not countries, listing a few of them: steel plates, concrete reinforcing bars, steel tubular products, hot rolled sheets, pre-painted steel, stainless steel wires, and wire rods.

“We want to make sure that we keep the market stable, that we deal with import surges in a way that doesn’t harm Canadian producers and workers,” Morneau said.

The United States in June unveiled 25 percent tariffs on steel products, and 10 percent on aluminum. Ottawa hit back with retaliatory tariffs on July 1.

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