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US Reimposes Tariff on Raw Canadian Aluminium

Posted August 07, 2020

The Trump Administration moves to reimpose a 10 percent tariff (under Section 232) on some Canadian aluminium products, and will take effect Aug 16, 2020.

There has been a surge in Canadian aluminium products recently, the move comes to protect US industry. Trump sited "national security concerns" during a speech at a Whirlpool Corp washing machine factory in Ohio to tout his "America First" trade agenda. 

"Several months ago, my administration agreed to lift those tariffs in return for a promise from the Canadian government that its aluminium industry would not flood our country with exports and kill all our aluminium jobs, which is exactly what they've done," Trump said. "Canadian aluminium producers have broken their commitment."

Canada is the largest source of United States imports of non-alloyed unwrought aluminum, accounting for nearly two-thirds of total imports of these articles from all countries in 2019 and approximately 75 percent of total imports in the first five months of 2020.  The surge in imports of these articles from Canada coincides with a decrease in imports of these articles from other countries and threatens to harm domestic aluminum production and capacity utilization. -Proclamation on Adjusting Imports of Aluminum Into the United States

The full proclamation to reimpose Section 232 tariffs can be found here.

Response from Canada

Countermeasures have been pledged by Canada, as this slap of tariff comes just weeks after a new free trade deal between the US, Mexico and Canada came into effect. Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland has stated that Canada "intends to swiftly impose dollar-for-dollar countermeasures" in response. "Canadian aluminum does not undermine U.S. national security. Canadian aluminum strengthens U.S. national security and has done so for decades through unparalleled co-operation between our two countries," she said. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, "We will always stand up for our aluminum workers. We did so in 2018, and we will stand up for them again now."

Canadian manufacturers condemn the U.S. administration decision to levy tariffs on Canadian aluminum. Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) issued the following statement in response:

“The measures announced today are both unjustified and unnecessary, and will have a negative impact on the unprecedented efforts being made to restore our respective economies, which are reeling in the wake of COVID-19." Read full statement here.

What Products are Affected by Canada's Countermeasures?

A listing of products affected can be found here.

What Does it Mean for Manufacturers/Producers?

Tariffs will raise costs for American manufacturers/U.S. domestic aluminum producers who have been lobbying against imposing these Section 232 tariffs. 


These tariffs will hurt workers and regional economies already hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Aluminum Association, which says it represents companies that produce 70 percent of the aluminium and aluminium products shipped in North America, said the move undermined the new US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement at a time when year-to-date domestic demand was already down nearly 25 percent.

We Can Help

Should you have any questions about this tariff and how your exports may be affected, please contact one of our knowledgeable and helpful trade experts who can assist you.

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