With Canada expected to announce consultations Tuesday on potential measures to limit steel transshipment, there’s evidence countries are already upping their exports to Canada.
Imports of iron and steel from countries other than the U.S. have spiked, coinciding with President Donald Trump’s imposition of 25% tariffs on foreign steel from Canada and other countries. Canada received C$3.23 billion (US$2.47 billion) worth of steel and iron from non-U.S. countries in the second quarter, a 16% increase from a year earlier, according to Statistics Canada data.
Imports from India increased 67% to C$128.6 million, while those from Turkey were up 58% to C$176.6 million. Canada also brought in more steel from Mexico and Germany, whose shipments were up 36% and 48% respectively.
The increases add to evidence trade flows are being disrupted. The changing trade patterns will also likely bolster the concerns of Canada’s steel producers, who worry cheaper foreign steel is entering Canada to avoid U.S. tariffs. “This is a behavior that we can expect to see from countries we’ve traditionally seen exporting aggressively, or exporting in a damaging way to the Canadian market,” Joseph Galimberti, president of the Canadian Steel Producers Association, said in an interview.
To be sure, countries exempt from the U.S. metals tariffs are also shipping more to Canada. Imports of steel and iron from Brazil and South Korea are up 317% and 20% respectively. Demand is also high, with the Canadian economy in the midst of a solid expansion and the government increasing spending on infrastructure.
And not all countries increased their shipments. Steel and iron imports from China were down 0.6% to C$903.7 million, while Russia and Japan reduced the value of their freight into the northern nation by 31% and 22% each.
In total, Canada received C$6.71 billion in iron and steel shipments from April to June. The U.S., which is subject to retaliatory Canadian tariffs starting in July, was responsible for more than half of those imports -- C$3.48 billion in the second quarter, up 3.9% from a year earlier.
By Erik Hertzberg and Josh Wingrove