Archive | Aluminium/Bauxite

OPINION: Score one for Canada: On aluminum tariffs, the U.S. bully blinks – by Lawrence Martin (Globe and Mail – September 17, 2020)

The situation was rife with potential conflict. In the throes of a U.S. election campaign, Canada was preparing to announce major retaliation against President Donald Trump’s administration for the levies it proposed last month against Canadian aluminum imports.

The countermeasures could have affected votes in battleground states, and the likelihood was that Mr. Trump would strike back, escalating tensions as he fought for his political livelihood and drawing Canada into election hostilities.

But unless Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland is out-and-out lying, the bully has backed off, having run away with its tail between its legs. Just a couple of hours before Ottawa’s retaliatory tariffs were to be imposed, Mr. Trump withdrew his aluminum levies, thus ending the dispute. Continue Reading →

U.S. removes tariffs on Canadian aluminum but imposes quotas on future shipments – by Steven Chase (Globe and Mail – September 16, 2020)

The U.S. government has removed tariffs on Canadian aluminum first announced in August but also warned it will reimpose them if shipments to the United States exceed quotas in the months ahead.

The reversal was announced just two hours before Canada was set to unveil $3.6-billion in retaliatory measures on U.S. imports on Tuesday.

Canada and the United States have been locked in a battle over the tariffs for months with the U.S. pushing for an agreement on tariffs triggered when shipments exceed certain volumes. The result of this dispute is the U.S. has unilaterally imposed its own tariff-rate quota on Canadian aluminum. Continue Reading →

Canada to unveil retaliatory measures against United States this week in aluminum dispute – by Steven Chase (Globe and Mail – September 15, 2020)

Canada this week will unveil the retaliatory measures it’s taking against the United States after President Donald Trump slapped tariffs on Canadian aluminum in August.

An announcement could come as soon as Tuesday, or as late as Wednesday, a government source said. The Globe granted anonymity because the source is not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland last month said the measures would amount to $3.6-billion and would go into effect on Sept. 16. They will be tariffs on U.S. imports, many of which contain aluminum. Continue Reading →

‘Dollar for dollar, we will not back down’: Retaliation on U.S. tariffs expected this week – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – September 15, 2020)

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland is preparing to enact a sweeping set of retaliatory tariffs later this week on U.S. aluminum products, according to several sources familiar with the situation.

U.S. President Donald Trump announced last month that he was re-imposing 10 per cent tariffs on Canadian primary aluminum, effective Aug. 16, saying surging volumes were a threat to national security after having lifted his original tariff in 2019.

Freeland promised to retaliate after a 30-day consultation period, and now, sources inside and outside the government, say Canada plans to impose 10 per cent tariffs on about $3.5 billion worth of U.S. aluminum and aluminum-containing products, effective Wednesday. Continue Reading →

New data casts doubt on Trump’s basis for tariffs on Canadian aluminum – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – September 4, 2020)

New data released on Thursday confirms that Canadian exports of primary aluminum to the U.S. had been declining for months when U.S. President Donald Trump announced in August he would reimpose 10 per cent tariffs.

The data undermines the factual basis for Trump’s tariffs, which he said were necessary because Canadian producers had flooded the U.S. market with aluminum, hurting the U.S. sector.

But on Thursday, the Washington International Trade Association hosted a panel discussion on the topic, in which opponents of the tariffs suggested that metal traders had exploited the economic fallout from the coronavirus. Continue Reading →

Sudbury column: ‘We cannot allow our country to be taken for granted’ – by Marc Serre (Sudbury Star – August 14, 2020)

Marc Serre is the Liberal MP for Nickel Belt.

Right now, we see countries around the globe collaborating to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19.

In a time where we should be leaning on one another to start the economic recovery of our regions safely and gradually, it is disappointing to see the U.S. implement unjustified tariffs on Canadian aluminum once again.
This will directly impact more than 10,000 workers on the manufacturing side and countless more in secondary related industries. The protection of lives and communities should be the top priority for both countries, instead of waging a trade dispute. Continue Reading →

58 per cent of Americans oppose President Trump’s tariff on Canadian aluminum, survey suggests – by Jim Bronskill (Globe and Mail – August 11, 2020)

A new opinion survey suggests U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent decision to slap a tariff on Canadian raw aluminum is garnering poor reviews on both sides of the border.

In a web survey conducted by polling firm Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies, 58 per cent of American respondents said they disagreed with the 10-per-cent import tax.

In what comes as less of a surprise, 90 per cent of Canadians who took part in the survey objected to the White House’s tariff. Continue Reading →

OPINION: Trump’s aluminum tariffs have Glencore’s prints all over them – by Konrad Yakabuski (Globe and Mail – August 12, 2020)

When President Donald Trump was elected in 2016, the U.S. primary aluminum industry was on its deathbed. Undercut by Canadian producers that relied on cheap and clean hydroelectricity to power modern smelters, and unable to compete with subsidized Chinese imports, the U.S. industry had shrunk to five plants operating below capacity.

Tariffs Mr. Trump imposed on Canadian raw aluminum imports in 2018 bought the U.S. industry some time, but not enough to fix its fundamentals. When the tariffs were lifted last year – as part of a good-faith gesture aimed at securing ratification of the United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement – it was only a matter of time before U.S. aluminum producers began to clamour for their renewal.

Last week, Mr. Trump answered their pleas, proving that the most protectionist U.S. president in modern history never really intended to honour the spirit or the letter of the USMCA, which went into force barely a month ago. Continue Reading →

Aluminum tariffs could worsen can shortage – Glenda Luymes (Vancouver Sun – August 9, 2020)

B.C. brewers don’t want the Canadian government to respond with retaliatory tariffs on aluminum cans

The U.S. government’s decision to impose tariffs on Canadian aluminum has B.C. beverage makers concerned it could make cans more costly during an existing shortage.

Local craft brewers told Postmedia they haven’t been affected by can shortages that have made some American soft drinks difficult to find during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they are concerned it could become an issue in the future.

“It is scary because the effect it could have is enormous,” said Iain Hill, owner and brewmaster at Strange Fellows Brewing in Vancouver. “It would be like someone saying we’re going to turn off the water for three days a week. You can’t do without it.” Continue Reading →

Ontario ‘disappointed’ in U.S. decision to impose tariffs on aluminum products – by Katherine DeClerq (CTV News Toronto – August 6, 2020)

TORONTO — The Progressive Conservative government says they are disappointed that the United States has imposed tariffs on imports of aluminum products and claims that it will “have a damaging impact on Ontario businesses, workers and consumers.”

U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that his government plans on imposing a 10-per-cent tariff on Canadian aluminum imports as of Aug. 16.

He claimed that Canada has been taking advantage of the United States and that American aluminum business has been “decimated.” Continue Reading →

Canada to retaliate with $3.6-billion in measures against U.S. aluminum tariffs – by Steven Chase and Adrian Morrow (Globe and Mail – August 7, 2020)

The Canadian government will impose retaliatory measures valued at $3.6-billion on the United States in response to new American tariffs on Canadian aluminum announced by President Donald Trump this week.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said the retaliatory tariffs will take effect in 30 days, after Ottawa consults Canadians on precisely which American products to target.

Canada is releasing a list of possible targets, many of which include aluminum, such as American-made washing machines. Continue Reading →

U.S. to reimpose tariff on some Canadian aluminum products, Trump says – by Beatrice Britneff (Global News – August 6, 2020)

The United States is reimposing a tariff on some Canadian aluminum products, Donald Trump announced on Thursday.

A statement from the White House later confirmed the Trump administration reinstated a 10-per cent tariff “on imports of non-alloyed unwrought aluminum from Canada.”

A senior official told Global News the Canadian government is working behind the scenes to try to prevent the new tariff before it takes effect. Continue Reading →

Revival of North American economy will negate need for aluminum tariffs, Trudeau tells Trump – by James McCarten (Canadian Press/Globe and Mail – July 14, 2020)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged U.S. President Donald Trump to think twice Monday before imposing new tariffs on Canadian aluminum, saying the sector is emerging from the pandemic-induced production stance that prompted the White House to consider such measures in the first place.

Mr. Trudeau, who said in a news conference he had spoken to the U.S. President earlier in the day, told him that with the North American economy getting back up to speed, Canada’s aluminum smelters would soon be back producing value-added specialty products for the U.S. auto sector.

The spectre of new tariffs emerged last month after Canadian producers, unable to shut down production and with their usual customers hamstrung by the impact of COVID-19, were forced to make a more generic form of aluminum and ship it to warehouses in the U.S. Continue Reading →

Calls for tariffs on Canadian aluminum come with a Glencore twist – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – July 11, 2020)

The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement was supposed to mark a new era in trade relations between Ottawa and Washington. Instead it came into force on July 1 overshadowed by the Trump Administration’s threats to re-impose tariffs on Canadian aluminum.

While political analysts have speculated about whether the tough talk, which began last month, may have had more to do with re-election campaigning than economic policy, inside aluminum industry circles the possibility of new tariffs has raised eyebrows for other reasons.

That’s because one of the world’s largest commodities players, Switzerland-based Glencore Plc — which mines nickel, copper, zinc and thermal coal in Canada and has partnerships worth billions of dollars with some of this country’s largest pension plans — is a major investor in a Chicago-based aluminum producer closely tied to the tariff fight. Continue Reading →

Of cars and cans: US aluminum and the pandemic – by Sarah Baltic (SP Global – July 7, 2020)

The coronavirus pandemic has obliterated global metals demand as one of the main end uses, automotive applications, has seen major disruptions to the supply chain.

The US metals market, in particular, saw the removal of an estimated 33,000 vehicles per day from production as all major auto producers across the country halted operations in response to government mandates and concerns over the welfare of workers.

Because the transportation sector is the largest end user of aluminum, accounting for around 35% of aluminum consumption, it is easy to see why so many market participants expressed concern over the lingering effects coronavirus would have on the health of the industry. Continue Reading →