Steel Mills

Essar Steel Algoma Challenging Rebar Duty Exemption

Written by Sandy Williams

Essar Steel Algoma is asking for support from the City of Sault Ste Marie in challenging a request by the Independent Contractors and Business Association (ICBA) and the province of British Columbia for ‘regional exemption’ of anti-dumping and countervailing duties on rebar imports.

“Although we are not a rebar producer, it is our view that such an exemption would create a dangerous precedent, opening the potential for similar claims in the future from other regions and for other Canadian industrial products, such as hot and cold rolled sheet and plate,” said Essar Steel Algoma in an email to SMU. “It undermines Canada’s trade laws by actively encouraging unfair imports, favouring unfairly traded foreign products and workers over those in Canada. Such an exemption could bring economic harm to Canadian manufacturers, their suppliers and their employees across Canada, including here at home in Sault Ste. Marie.”

Essar explained that in 2014, Canada’s rebar producers initiated a complaint against illegally dumped and subsidized imports of rebar from China, South Korea and Turkey. The Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) determined in 2015 that such imports injured Canadian producers and established tariffs on rebar from all three countries.

ICBA and the province of British Columbia sought a ‘regional exemption’ from such duties but were denied an exemption by the CITT. Since then, the ICBA and BC have asked for a ‘Public Interest Inquiry’, again seeking a regional exemption.

Essar Steel Algoma and other steel industry leaders are seeking commitment from other manufacturing associations, individual companies, and provincial and municipal governments to intervene in the Public Interest Inquiry.

Essar Steel Algoma and Tenaris Canada, in separate communications, are asking the mayor and council of Sault Ste. Marie to submit a letter of protest to the exemption request to the CITT by July 6 and to participate in CITT tribunal hearings scheduled for July 27 to July 31 in Vancouver.

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