Measures for Steel and Aluminum Businesses
In response to the tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum imposed by the United States, the Government of Canada stood up for our country's steel and aluminum workers, industries, and communities by imposing countermeasures (surtaxes) against imports of steel, aluminum, and other products from the United States, to encourage the full removal of the United States tariffs.
Canada stood firm and did not back down until the tariff removal was agreed on May 17, 2019. As part of that understanding, the United States and Canada removed their tariffs and countermeasures on May 20, 2019.
Relief from Surtaxes on Imports from the United States
On October 11, 2018, our Government put in place the United States Surtax Remission Order (Order) in order to address certain challenges for Canadian manufacturers that rely on steel and aluminum imported from the United States. The Order was amended on December 17, 2018, April 15, 2019, and June 25, 2019 to expand its scope of application.
Remission of surtaxes has been granted for certain steel and aluminum products imported from the United States that have been determined to be in short supply in Canada. The eligible products for remission of surtaxes based on short supply conditions are listed in Schedules 1 and 2 of the Order. Any importer of the eligible products can make a claim to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for the refund the surtaxes. Information on making claims for remission is provided in Customs Notice 18-16 of the CBSA.
Information on relief provided on a company-specific basis, due to contractual obligations or exceptional circumstances, can be found in Schedule 3 of the Order.
Information on remission of surtaxes for imports of other goods can be found in Schedule 4 of the Order.
With the end of Canada's countermeasures as of May 20, 2019, the Government is no longer accepting requests from the remission of surtaxes.
Duty Drawback Program
Other than remission of surtaxes under the Order, refunds may be available under the existing duty drawback program administered by the CBSA.
- The Drawback Program allows for the refund of surtaxes paid on imported goods from the United States if the goods are re-exported either in the same condition or after using, consuming or expending them to process other goods.
Safeguards on Certain Steel Imports
In October 2018, the Government imposed provisional safeguards for 200 days on imports of heavy plate, concrete reinforcing bar (rebar), energy tubular products, hot-rolled sheet, pre-painted steel, stainless steel wire and wire rod. Concurrently, the Government asked the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) to conduct an inquiry to determine if longer-term final safeguards are warranted and, if so, to recommend appropriate remedies to the Government.
The CITT issued its report on April 3, 2019, finding that final safeguards are warranted for imports of heavy plate and stainless steel wire.
End of Provisional Safeguards on Certain Steel Goods
In accordance with Canadian law, provisional safeguards on imports of rebar, energy tubular products, hot-rolled sheet, pre-painted steel and wire rod ceased to have effect 200 days after the Order in Council imposing the measure was made. Accordingly, provisional safeguard surtax will not be assessed on imports made on or after April 29, 2019 and importers are no longer required to obtain shipment-specific import permits from Global Affairs Canada (GAC).
The Government is refunding the provisional safeguard surtaxes paid on imports of rebar, energy tubular products, hot-rolled sheet, pre-painted steel and wire rod. As well, refunds will be provided of provisional safeguard surtaxes paid on imports of heavy plate and stainless steel wire originating in Colombia, Korea, Panama and Peru. Refunds of provisional safeguard surtaxes will be processed automatically by the CBSA.
Final Safeguards on Heavy Plate and Stainless Steel Wire
On April 26, 2019, the Government of Canada announced its intention to impose final safeguards on imports of heavy plate and stainless steel wire. These final safeguards came into force on May 13, 2019 and will remain in place until October 2021. The final safeguards are applied in the form of tariff-rate quotas (TRQ), whereby a surtax only applies to imports without a shipment-specific import permit or that exceed the TRQ. The applicable TRQ volumes and surtax rates in a given period of the final safeguards are set out in CBSA Customs Notice 19-08.
The surtax-free quota is administered by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) through shipment-specific import permits. For a shipment to be imported free of the safeguard surtax, importers must present a valid shipment-specific import permit to the CBSA at the time of final accounting. Information regarding GAC's administration of the final safeguards TRQ, including allocation and the procedures for obtaining shipment-specific import permits, can be found in Notice to Importers No. 945.
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is responsible for enforcing the final safeguards in accordance with Customs Notice 19-08.
Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) Exclusions Inquiries
At the request of the Government, the CITT is conducting inquiries regarding exclusion requests concerning certain heavy plate and stainless steel wire. If the CITT determines that there is no domestic source of supply or firm and commercially viable plan to produce goods for which an exclusion has been requested, the CITT may recommend to the Government that such goods be excluded from the final safeguards. These exclusion inquiries are initiated at regular intervals for the duration of the final safeguards.
The CITT submitted its report and recommendations to the Government in its first exclusion inquiry on July 15, 2019. Following the recommendations made by the CITT, on August 23, 2019, certain heavy plate and stainless steel wire have been excluded from final safeguards. Exclusions are reflected in updates to CBSA's Customs Notice 19-08.
Support for Businesses
Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)
The Business Development Bank of Canada has made up to $800 million in commercial financing available over the next two years for eligible small and medium-sized businesses. This financing could help companies expand into new markets, increase operational and environmental efficiency, or purchase new technology and equipment.
If you are not yet a client and wish to discuss your financing or advisory needs, please contact BDC at 1-877-232-2269 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Export Development Canada (EDC)
Export Development Canada has made up to $900 million available over the next two years in commercial financing and insurance to companies in the steel and aluminum sectors and related industries including SMEs. EDC solutions are available to companies looking for support to enable execution on established business plans, to free up working capital, or to insure payment.
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED)
The Government has made up to $250 million available in new funding for targeted assistance as part of the Strategic Innovation Fund managed by ISED. These funds will support companies that choose to make investments in innovation, and capital expenditures including: new equipment, production and process technologies; and workforce training and upskilling related to these new technologies and processes.
The Regional Economic Growth through Innovation Steel and Aluminum Initiative has made available $100 million in support to Canadian small- and medium-sized steel and aluminum manufacturers and users for investments in innovative projects that will enhance productivity and/or competitiveness. The regional development agencies are implementing this program. The period for funding applications to this initiative is now closed. All applicants who have submitted an application will be notified as to whether their application has been approved.
Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions: email@example.com
Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency:
FedDev Ontario: FDO.FedDevOntario.FDO@canada.ca
FedNor Ontatio: firstname.lastname@example.org
Western Economic Diversification Canada: WD.contactus-contactez-nous.DEO@canada.ca
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)
Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED)
Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD)
Trade Commissioner Service at Global Affairs Canada
Global Affairs Canada stands ready to assist entrepreneurs in exploring new and longer-term market diversification opportunities. In addition, $50 million over five years in new support will be provided to help Canadian companies diversify their exports to take advantage of new trade agreements, such as CETA and CPTPP.
Support for Workers
In order to help employers avoid layoffs and retain skilled workers, as a temporary measure, our Government has extended the maximum duration of Work-Sharing agreements from 38 to 76 weeks. The mandatory cooling off period has also been waived so that employers with a recently expired agreement may immediately apply for a new agreement, without waiting between applications.