Advocacy | Finance & Taxation | Tariffs and Trade

RCC’s comments on Government of Canada’s notice of intent to impose countermeasures against the United States on aluminum tariffs

September 9, 2020

UPDATE: At the eleventh hour (actually two hours before the Canadian government was about to release a list of retaliatory measures), the US government lifted its recently-imposed tariffs on imports of Canadian aluminum. This means, that for the time-being at least, there will not be any new surtaxes on Canadian imports of aluminum-containing products originating in the US. RCC will continue to maintain vigilance on this issue, which has played against the backdrop of the US Presidential and Congressional elections.

Retail Council of Canada appreciates the opportunity to provide comments to help inform the Government of Canada’s decisions on retaliatory measures in response to the United States Government’s imposition of tariffs on imported Canadian aluminum. We expect that these comments will lead to further discussion both prior to and after the imposition of any retaliatory measures.

Unsurprisingly, retailers are concerned with the current state of trade relations with the United States. Retailers are strong supporters of free and fair trade generally, of the CUSMA agreement and were actively engaged on both sides of the border in pressing for renewal of the previous NAFTA on fair terms. RCC deplores what we see as the U.S. Government’s election-period tactics including the imposition of tariffs on Canadian aluminum exports to the United States.

While it might perhaps be expected that retailers’ sole concern would be the potential impact of retaliatory Canadian tariffs, that is not the case. RCC understands the need for Canada to respond assertively to the U.S. Government’s imposition of Aluminum tariffs. We recognize that the Canadian government is striving to act within a contained list of goods and that its goal is to avoid a broadening of the dispute and work toward a return to normalcy in Canada-U.S. trade relations. RCC nevertheless has concerns about the potential imposition of tariffs on several of the identified categories, as follows:

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