Analysis:Steel and aluminum tariffs are gone, so now what? – by Elise von Scheel (CBC News Politics – May 20, 2019)

Deal includes provision to watch for foreign dumping, allows U.S. to impose tariffs again in rare cases

A deal was reached on Friday to end the metal tariff battle between Canada and the U.S. Steel and aluminum imports from Canada will no longer be taxed, but that doesn’t mean all the problems are over.

The new NAFTA still has to be ratified and the protectionist administration in the U.S. is still causing anxiety in Canada. Here’s what you need to know about the tariffs deal and what happens next.

The American tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum — 25 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively — disappeared as of today. Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced on Monday that Canada lifted its retaliatory countermeasures against the U.S., according to a news release from the Department of Finance Canada.

When the deal was announced on Friday, the government said the taxes would stop in two days time. However, that doesn’t mean that Canadian metal is in the clear yet. The U.S. reserved the right to reimpose duties if imports “surge” beyond historical levels.

What exactly does that mean? We’re not sure yet. Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland told CBC Radio’s The House that it was very intentional language from the Americans, but she didn’t clearly define what a surge would be.

Canada buys more steel from the U.S. than any other country. Half of American steel finds its way to Canada, and in 2017 more than $18 billion CAD in steel was traded between the two countries, according to Global Affairs.

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