In an effort at staving off an expected flood of transshipments of aluminium through the country, the Canadian government said earlier this week that it is enacting barriers that it hopes will make such activities more difficult.
Canada has been granted an exemption to the blanket 10-percent tariffs levied on all imports of aluminium into the United States, which is of obvious benefit to the realm’s primary aluminium producers. However, among the feared unintended consequences of such an exemption is that the country will become a hub for passing aluminium from countries without an exemption into the United States.
In a statement released by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday, the PM announced that it would take a firm stance against such practices.
“Canada is a trading nation, and we will not allow North American industries to be hurt or threatened by unfair trade practices, like the diversion of steel and aluminum. Our businesses and workers rely on our integrated industries, and we will take strong action to defend and protect our most important trade relationships. Canada will not be used as a backdoor into other North American markets. Our people have worked hard to be competitive in this global economy, and they deserve a level playing field.”
The statement went on to detail some of the specific measures to be taken to prevent transshipment. Canada Border Services Agency will ramp up anti-circumvention investigations and will be allowed greater discretion in determining whether prices charged by the exporter’s home market are reliable or have been distorted. Additionally, Canadian unions will be given a say in trade-remedy proceedings to determine the extent to which foreign exports are injuring Canadian companies.
Canada’s government is also expected to increase cross-border cooperation with Mexico and the U.S. to insure that intelligence is shared and resources are properly allocated to counter such transshipments. Trudeau’s office indicates that such changes are but the first steps in making the country’s trade remedy investigations and enforcement stronger and more agile.