On August 6th, President Trump signed a Proclamation imposing aluminum tariffs on imports of non-alloyed unwrought aluminum from Canada. The Proclamation bases the imposition of the tariff on the substantial increase in imports of non-alloyed unwrought aluminum from Canada between June 2019 and May 2020, after President Trumps decision in May 19, 2019 to exclude Canada from the tariff on aluminum imports imposed by Proclamation 9704 of March 8, 2018 (Adjusting Imports of Aluminum Into the United States). The new tariff will take effect as of August 16, 2020.
On August 6, 2020 Canada responded issuing a Statement that the measure was “unwarranted and unacceptable” and that Canada will respond by imposing “dollar-for-dollar countermeasures”. Details on Canada’s countermeasures are to be announced shortly.
The U.S. originally imposed tariffs on Canadian aluminum and steel in 2018 through Proclamation 9704 of March 8, 2018. Negotiations with Canada resulted in Proclamation 9893 of May 19, 2019 excluding Canada from the tariffs imposed by Proclamation 9704 but subject to conditions of monitoring and effectiveness.
The imposition of tariffs on imports of non-alloyed unwrought aluminum from Canada is based on U.S. findings that imports of non-alloyed unwrought aluminum from Canada:
– accounted for 59 percent of total aluminum imports from Canada during June 2019 through May 2020;
– non-alloyed unwrought aluminum increased 87 percent compared to the prior twelve-month period and exceeded the volume of any full calendar year in the previous decade;
– non-alloyed unwrought aluminum reached historic levels in June 2020;
– Canadian imports non-alloyed unwrought aluminum account for the 27 percent increase in total aluminum imports from Canada during June 2019 through May 2020.
For the history of this issue, please see: Agreement to Eliminate The U.S. Section 232 Tariffs on Canadian Steel and Aluminum and Canada’s Retaliatory Countermeasures on U.S. Steel, Aluminum And Other Goods; Canada Announces Final Countermeasures Against The United States; The Morning After: U.S. Allies Taking Retaliatory Measures Against Trump’s Tariffs; Nothing Good Happens After Midnight: Canada, Mexico and the EU Hit With Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum.