Trump Administration Lifts Tariff On Aluminum Imported From Canada

On September 15th, the office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) released a statement reversing President Trump’s decision to restore the 10% tariff on Canadian aluminum, hours before Canada was expected to impose retaliatory measures. Trump previously withdrew the tariffs while working to pass the US-Mexico-Canada agreement, but reimposed them shortly after the trade deal went into effect. 

The full USTR statement reads:

“After consultations with the Canadian government, the United States has determined that trade in non-alloyed, unwrought aluminum is likely to normalize in the last four months of 2020, with imports declining sharply from the surges experienced earlier in the year. Average monthly imports are expected to decline 50 percent from the monthly average in the period of January through July.  Accordingly, the United States will modify the terms of the 10 percent tariff imposed in August on imports of Canadian non-alloyed unwrought aluminum. 

The United States expects that shipments of non-alloyed, unwrought aluminum from Canada for the remainder of 2020 will be no greater than the following monthly volumes: September ‒ 83,000 tons, October ‒ 70,000 tons, November ‒ 83,000 tons, December ‒ 70,000 tons.

Based on these expectations, the United States will resume duty-free treatment of non-alloyed, unwrought aluminum retroactive to September 1, 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 percent of the expected volume for any month during the four-month period, then the United States will impose the 10 percent 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 percent of the expected volume in any month the United States may re-impose the 10 percent tariff going forward.

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