US government calls off tariffs on Canadian alu imports

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The US government has dropped plans to impose 10 % tariffs on aluminium imports from Canada.

Though import tariffs are off the table now, the US government also warned it would re-impose them if shipments to the US exceed quotas in the months ahead.

The US government expects trade in non-alloyed, unwrought aluminium is likely to normalize in the last four months of 2020, with imports declining significantly from the surges experienced earlier in the year. Average monthly imports are expected to decline 50 % from the monthly average in the period of January through July. “Accordingly, the United States will modify the terms of the 10 % tariff imposed in August on imports of Canadian non-alloyed unwrought aluminium,” according to an official statement of the Office of the US Trade Representative.

Aluminium tariffs re-imposed if imports exceed 105 % of expected volume

The US expects that shipments of non-alloyed, unwrought aluminium from Canada for the remainder of 2020 will be no greater than the following monthly volumes: 83,000 tonnes in September and November, and 70,000 tonnes in October and December. Based on these expectations, the US will resume duty-free treatment of non-alloyed, unwrought aluminium retroactive to 1 September 2020. Six weeks after the end of any month during this period, the United States will determine whether actual shipments met expectations. If actual shipments exceeded 105 % of the expected volume for any month during the four-month period, then the United States will impose the 10 % tariff retroactively on all shipments made in that month.

If shipments in any month exceed the expected volume, the United States expects that shipments in the next month will decline by a corresponding amount. In addition to the forgoing, if imports exceed 105 % of the expected volume in any month the United States may re-impose the 10 % tariff going forward.

The United States will consult with the Canadian government at the end of the year to review the state of the aluminium trade in light of trade patterns during the four-month period and expected market conditions in 2021.

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