This week the Government of Canada announced its intent to impose restrictions on imports of seven classes of steel products to mitigate harm caused by “the diversion of foreign steel products into Canada.” See the News Release dated Oct. 11, 2018, and Notice of Commencement of Safeguard Inquiry.

The seven classes include wire rod; stainless steel wire; hot-rolled sheet; heavy plate; energy tubular; pre-painted steel; and concrete reinforcing bar.

These “safeguard measures” were reportedly prompted by complaints from Canada’s steel industry that U.S. Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum have resulted in shipments of cheap steel to be diverted to Canada from the U.S., and follows the country’s countermeasures imposed on July 1st applying tariffs on over $12 billion worth of U.S. goods in response to those tariffs.

Notably, the safeguards do not apply to goods originating in and imported from the U.S., Chile and Israel. However imports of energy tubular and wire rod from Mexico “are within the scope of the Tribunal’s inquiry.”

These safeguard measures are provisional, remaining in place for 200 days pending the safeguards inquiry conducted by the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT). By April 2019, the CITT must provide recommendations on whether the safeguard should be continued for the longer term. While parties can participate in the CITT inquiry, they are “directed not to make submissions to the Tribunal on classes of goods or to request exclusions from safeguard measures for specific products, producers, exporters, regions, etc., as these matters are outside the scope of the inquiry.”