Invitation to Submit Views

The Department of Finance is seeking feedback from Canadians regarding possible safeguard action related to imports of certain steel products.

The intent of these consultations is to better inform the Government as to whether safeguard action, including the imposition of provisional safeguards, may be warranted in respect of the steel products outlined in the Annex of this notice. Interested parties are also invited to submit views concerning the appropriate remedy, should provisional safeguards be warranted.

Background

Under the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Safeguards, global safeguard measures may be applied by a WTO Member if an investigation determines that a product is being imported in such increased quantities, and under such conditions, as to cause or threaten to cause serious injury to domestic producers of that product.  In critical circumstances where delay may cause damage that is difficult to repair, provisional safeguard measures may be applied by a WTO Member for up to 200 days on the basis of a preliminary determination pending the results of an investigation.

In Canada, the requirements for imposing global safeguard measures are provided for in the Customs Tariff.  The Customs Tariff allows the Governor in Council to impose, on the basis of a report and recommendation of the Minister of Finance, provisional safeguard measures if there are critical circumstances.  If provisional safeguard measures are imposed, the matter must be immediately referred to the Canadian International Trade Tribunal for inquiry.

In cases where imports have caused, or threaten to cause, serious injury to domestic producers, provisional safeguard measures may be warranted.  As announced on June 29, 2018, the Government is working with domestic producers of steel plate, concrete reinforcing bar and energy tubular products on an appropriate response, including provisional safeguards, to prevent increases in imports.  The Government is also actively considering whether similar measures are warranted in the case of hot-rolled sheet, pre-painted steel, wire rod and stainless steel wire.  The Government will continue to monitor the import situation and work with stakeholders to determine whether additional products may be considered for safeguards at a later date.

Provisional safeguards may take the form of a surtax that applies to all subject imports or a surtax that only applies to subject imports that exceed a specified quantity threshold (i.e., tariff-rate quota). As an example, provisional safeguards imposed by the European Union on July 19, 2018, took the form of product-specific tariff-rate quotas whereby a 25 per cent surtax is only applied once imports exceed 100 per cent of the average of volume of imports between 2015 and 2017.

If provisional safeguards are imposed, the Government would also direct the Canadian International Trade Tribunal to conduct a formal inquiry to determine whether final safeguards are warranted.

Comments

Written comments should be provided no later than August 29, 2018. Submissions, at a minimum, should include the following information and address the following issues:

  1. Canadian company/industry association name, address, telephone number, and contact person.
  2. Identify the steel product(s) to which the submission pertains.
  3. Views concerning whether safeguard action in respect of imports of the concerned products is warranted, supported by reasons for these views.
  4. Any supplementary information to support the views made in the submission in support of or opposed to safeguard action.
  5. Views concerning an appropriate remedy, should the imposition of provisional safeguards be warranted, including detailed information substantiating any expected beneficial or adverse impacts.
  6. Indicate if information provided in the submission is commercially sensitive.

Address for comments

Comments and general inquiries should be sent to the following address: International Trade Policy Division (Safeguards), Department of Finance, James Michael Flaherty Building, 14th Floor, 90 Elgin Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0G5, 613-369-4024 (fax), (fin.simaconsult-lmsiconsult.fin@canada.ca).

Annex

Steel Plate

Product Definition

Carbon and alloy steel plate, in discrete form or in cut lengths, subject to the following dimensional restrictions and exclusions.

This definition includes hot-rolled carbon steel plate and high-strength low-alloy steel plate not further manufactured than hot-rolled, heat-treated or not, in widths from 80 inches (+/- 2,030 mm) to 152 inches (+/- 3,860 mm) inclusive, and thicknesses from 0.375 inches (+/-9.525 mm) up to and including 4.0 inches (101.6 mm), with all dimensions being plus or minus allowable tolerances contained in the applicable standards.  For greater certainty, these dimensional restrictions apply to steel plate, which contains alloys greater than required by recognized industry standards provided that the steel does not meet recognized industry standards for an alloy-specification steel plate.

This definition includes hot-rolled alloy steel plate in widths from 24 in. (+/- 610 mm) to 152 in. (+/- 3,860 mm) inclusive, and thicknesses from 0.187 in. (+/- 4.75 mm) to 4.0 in. (+/- 101.6 mm) inclusive, with all dimensions being plus or minus allowable tolerances contained in the applicable standards.

The definition excludes:

  • All plate in coil form;
  • All plate having a rolled, raised figure at regular intervals on the surface (also known as floor plate);
  • Alloy plate that is clad, plated or coated;
  • Stainless steel, silicon-electrical steel, tool steel and high-speed steel;
  • Hot-rolled carbon steel plate in grade A516-70 normalized (heat-treated) with a thickness of 2.75 inches and of width greater than 72 inches.
  • Hot-rolled carbon steel plate manufactured to ASME SA-516/SA-516M or ASTM A-516/A-516M, ASME SA-285/SA-285M or ASTM A-285/A-285M, ASME SA-299/SA-299M or ASTM A-299/A-299M, ASME SA-537/SA-537M or ASTM A-537/A-537M, ASME SA-515/SA-515M or ASTM A-515/A-515M, ASME SA-841/SA-841M or ASTM A-841/A-841M, which is both vacuum-degassed while molten and has a sulfur content of less than 0.005 percent;
  • Hot-rolled carbon steel plate manufactured to ASME SA-516/SA-516M or ASTM A-516/A-516M, ASME SA-285/SA-285M or ASTM A-285/A-285M, ASME SA-299/SA-299M or ASTM A-299/A-299M, ASME SA-537/SA-537M or ASTM A-537/A-537M, ASME SA-515/SA-515M or ASTM A-515/A-515M that is made by a process that includes vacuum degassing while molten and is normalized (heat-treated); and
  • Hot-rolled carbon steel plate manufactured to ASME SA-516/SA-516M or ASTM A-516/A-516M, ASME SA-285/SA-285M or ASTM A-285/A-285M, ASME SA-299/SA-299M or ASTM A-299/A-299M, ASME SA-537/SA-537M or ASTM A-537/A-537M, ASME SA-515/SA-515M or ASTM A-515/A-515M that is normalized (heat-treated) and has a sulfur content of less than 0.005 percent.

HS Codes

Plate is commonly imported under the following 10-digit HS numbers:

7208.51.00.10; 7208.51.00.93; 7208.51.00.94; 7208.51.00.95; 7208.52.00.10; 7208.52.00.93; 7208.52.00.96; 7225.40.00.10; 7225.40.00.20; 7225.40.00.30; 7225.40.00.40; 7225.40.00.50

Please note that these HS numbers are illustrative. There may be goods under the listed HS number that do not fall within the product definition, or goods that are imported under a HS number that is not listed but that fall within the product definition.

Concrete Reinforcing Bar

Product Definition

Hot-rolled deformed steel concrete reinforcing bar in straight lengths or coils, commonly identified as rebar, in various diameters up to and including 56.4 millimeters, in various finishes.

The definition excludes:

  • plain round bar;
  • fabricated rebar products; and
  • 10-mm-diameter (10M) rebar produced to meet the requirements of CSA G30 18.09 (or equivalent standards) and that is coated to meet the requirements of epoxy standard ASTM A775/A 775M 04a (or equivalent standards) in lengths from 1 foot (30.48 cm) up to and including 8 feet (243.84 cm).

HS Codes

Concrete reinforcing bar is commonly imported under the following 10-digit HS numbers:

7213.10.00.00; 7214.20.00.00

Please note that these HS numbers are illustrative. There may be goods under the listed HS number that do not fall within the product definition, or goods that are imported under a HS number that is not listed but that fall within the product definition.  

Energy Tubular products

Product Definition

Carbon and alloy steel energy tubular products, including line pipe, tubing, and casing, for use in the oil and gas and petrochemical industries, finished or unfinished, welded or seamless, having a nominal outside diameter from 2.375 inches (60.3 mm) to 60 inches (1,524 mm) (with all dimensions being plus or minus allowable tolerances contained in the applicable standards), heat treated or not heat treated, regardless of length, wall thickness, surface finish (coated or uncoated), and end finish (plain, bevelled, threaded, or threaded and coupled), in all grades, meeting or supplied to meet American Petroleum Institute ("API") 5L, API 5L-B, API 5CT, Canadian Standards Association ("CSA") Z245.1, International Standards Organization ("ISO") 3183, American Society for Testing and Materials ("ASTM") ASTM A333, ASTM A106, ASTM A53-B or their equivalents and/or enhanced proprietary standards, whether or not actually certified or stenciled, whether or not meeting specifications for other end uses (e.g. single-, dual-, or multiple-certified, for use in oil and gas, piling pipe, or other applications).

For greater certainty, the product definition includes casing and tubing that are referred to as "green tubes" in the industry. These are formed tubes with the requisite chemistry and dimensions of casing or tubing, but that require further processing before they may be used in a well. They are included in the definition above as unfinished, non-heat treated, or plain end pipe. The finishing required may be heat treatment, threading, coupling, testing, or any combination of these processes.

The definition excludes:

  • Drill pipe, pup joints, couplings, coupling stock, galvanized or stainless steel line pipe, and casing or tubing containing 10.5% percent or more by weight chromium;
  • Submerged arc longitudinal welded line pipe, regardless of grade, outside diameter and wall thickness, in lengths of 60 feet (18.288 m) with no girth welds for exclusive use in slurry or tailings piping systems in oil sands projects and marked "For Use as Slurry/Tailings Pipe Only"; for greater certainty, use in a pipeline meeting CSA Z-662 or as pressure piping meeting CSA B51 Code is not permitted under this exclusion;
  • Submerged arc longitudinal welded line pipe, regardless of outside diameter, wall thickness and length, for exclusive use in high-temperature steam distribution pipelines and marked "For Steam Distribution Only", certified to meet the requirements of CSA Z662-15 Clause 14 and/or Annex I and certified to have proven fatigue/creep test properties as provided in sections I.2.3.2 and I.3.2.1 of CSA Z662-15 as established by means of a creep test of no less than 10,000 hours carried out in accordance with ASTM E139;
  • Unfinished seamless carbon or alloy steel line pipe in the form of mother tubes having outside diameters of 184, 197, 210, 235, 260, 286, 328, 350, 368, 377, 394, 402, 419, 426, 450, 475, 480, 500, 521, 530, 560, 585 or 610 mm, in wall thicknesses from 9 mm to 110 mm and in lengths ranging from 7.72 m to 15.24 m, not stenciled as meeting any line pipe product specification, but imported for use in the production, and not solely for finishing, of seamless line pipe made to any one or several of API 5L, CSAZ245.1, ISO 3183, ASTM A333, ASTM A335, ASTM A106, ASTM A53 or their equivalents;
  • ASME SA 672 or ASME SA 691 electric-fusion welded steel pipe as certified under the ASME "Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code" rules (and stencilled with at least one of the aforementioned standards), of a length not to exceed 15 feet (4.572 m), for use other than in a CSA Z-662 pipeline application and imported with authorized inspection certificates and applicable ASME Partial Data Reports;
  • Line pipe, regardless of grade, outside diameter and wall thickness, single stenciled as "DNV-OS-F101" for exclusive use in offshore applications and marked "For Offshore Applications Only"; and
  • Welded line pipe having nominal outside diameters from and including 18 inches to 24 inches (610 mm) (with all dimensions being plus or minus allowable tolerances contained in the applicable standards), regardless of grade and wall thickness, with a manganese content of no less than 16% by weight, for exclusive use in slurry, tailings, and pressure piping systems in oil sands projects, and marked 'Not for CSA Z-662 Applications'. For greater certainty, use in a pipeline meeting CSA Z-662 is not permitted under this exclusion.

HS Codes

Energy tubular products are commonly imported under the following 10-digit HS numbers:

7304.19.00.10; 7304.19.00.20; 7304.29.00.11; 7304.29.00.19; 7304.29.00.21; 7304.29.00.29; 7304.29.00.31; 7304.29.00.39; 7304.29.00.81; 7304.29.00.89; 7305.11.00.10; 7305.11.00.20; 7305.12.00.10; 7305.12.00.30; 7305.19.00.10; 7305.19.00.20; 7306.19.00.10; 7306.19.00.90; 7306.29.00.11; 7306.29.00.19; 7306.29.00.51; 7306.29.00.59; 7306.29.00.61; 7306.29.00.69

Please note that these HS numbers are illustrative. There may be goods under the listed HS number that do not fall within the product definition, or goods that are imported under a HS number that is not listed but that fall within the product definition.

Hot-rolled Sheet

Product Definition

Flat hot-rolled carbon and alloy steel sheet and strip, including secondary or non-prime material, in various widths from 0.75 inches (19 mm) and wider, and

  • for product in coil form, in thicknesses from 0.054 inches to 0.625 inches (1.37 mm to 15.875 mm) inclusive,
  • for product that is cut to length, in thicknesses from 0.054 inches up to but not including 0.187 inches (1.37 mm up to but not including 4.75 mm),

The definition excludes:

  • flat-rolled stainless steel sheet and strip; and
  • flat hot-rolled, cut to length alloy steel products containing no less than 11.5 percent manganese, in thicknesses from 0.12 inches to 0.19 inches (3 mm to 4.75 mm).

HS Codes

Hot-rolled sheet is commonly imported under the following 10-digit HS numbers:

7208.25.00.00; 7208.26.00.00; 7208.27.00.00; 7208.36.00.00; 7208.37.00.10; 7208.37.00.20; 7208.37.00.50; 7208.38.00.10; 7208.38.00.20; 7208,38.00.50; 7208.39.00.00; 7208.53.00.00; 7208.54.00.00; 7208.90.00.00; 7211.14.00.90; 7211.19.00.90; 7225.30.00.00; 7226.91.00.00

Please note that these HS numbers are illustrative. There may be goods under the listed HS number that do not fall within the product definition, or goods that are imported under a HS number that is not listed but that fall within the product definition.

Pre-painted Steel

Product Definition

Pre-painted flat-rolled products of non-alloy and alloy steel (not including stainless steel) which are

  • painted, 
  • varnished or
  • coated with plastics on at least one side,

in coils or cut lengths, in thicknesses up to 0.079 inches (2.0066 mm) and widths up to 61.5 inches (1562.1 mm) with all dimensions being plus or minus allowable tolerances contained in the applicable standards.

The definition excludes:

  • products with a final coating of zinc-dust (a zinc-rich paint, containing by weight 70 % or more of zinc);  and
  • products with a substrate with a metallic coating of chromium.

HS Codes

Pre-painted steel is commonly imported under the following 10-digit HS numbers:

7210.70.00.00; 7212.40.00.00

Please note that these HS numbers are illustrative. There may be goods under the listed HS number that do not fall within the product definition, or goods that are imported under a HS number that is not listed but that fall within the product definition.

Stainless Steel Wire

Product Definition

Cold drawn, and cold drawn and annealed, stainless steel round wire, up to and including 0.256 inches (6.50 mm) in maximum solid cross-sectional dimension; and cold drawn, and cold drawn and annealed, stainless steel cold-rolled profile wire, up to and including 0.031 square inches (0.787 sq. mm) in maximum solid cross-sectional area.

HS Codes

Stainless steel wire is commonly imported under the following 10-digit HS numbers:

7223.00.00.10; 7223.00.00.20

Please note that these HS numbers are illustrative. There may be goods under the listed HS number that do not fall within the product definition, or goods that are imported under a HS number that is not listed but that fall within the product definition.

Wire Rod

Product Definition

Certain hot‐rolled products of carbon steel and alloy steel, in coils, of approximately round cross section, less than 19.00 mm in actual solid cross‐sectional diameter.

The definition excludes:

  • stainless steel;
  • tool steel;
  • high‐nickel steel;
  • ball bearing steel; and
  • concrete reinforcing bars and rods (also known as rebar).

HS Codes

Wire rod is commonly imported under the following 10-digit HS numbers:

7213.20.00.10; 7213.91.00.11; 7213.91.00.21; 7213.91.00.31; 7213.99.00.10; 7213.99.00.30; 7213.99.00.50; 7227.90.00.10

Please note that these HS numbers are illustrative. There may be goods under the listed HS number that do not fall within the product definition, or goods that are imported under a HS number that is not listed but that fall within the product definition.