The United States is taking fresh aim at Canada on trade, this time over pipe imports.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced on Tuesday his department is launching an investigation of large diameter welded pipe imports from Canada, China, Greece, India, Korea and Turkey.
The probe is intended to determine whether the imports should face countervailing and anti-dumping duties. The pipes at issue in the probe are used for multiple purposes, including oil and gas transport and for structural use.
“We are disappointed to see another trade action targeting Canadian exporters undertaken by American producers within the Department of Commerce framework,” Global Affairs Canada spokesperson John Babcock told BNN via email.
“While the Canadian government has no role in the investigation, we are following it closely and are in contact with our exporters.”
The Commerce Department said the review was launched at the behest of five U.S. pipe producers who, among other things, claim a 50.89-per-cent dumping margin on imports from Canada.
According to a fact sheet released by the Commerce Department, the U.S. imported US$66 million worth of large diameter welded pipes from Canada in 2016.
“With an 81 per cent increase in trade cases initiated since President Trump took office, this administration has made it clear that we will vigorously administer anti-dumping and countervailing duty laws,” Ross said in a press release.
As a next step in the pipe investigation, the U.S. International Trade Commission will make a preliminary determination on injuries by March 5. If it finds a “reasonable indication” of injury, the U.S. Commerce Department expects to deliver a preliminary decision on countervailing duties on April 16, with a preliminary determination on anti-dumping duties planned for June 29.
Canadian Steel Producers Association President Joseph Galimberti called the U.S. trade action "unfortunate."
"Steel trade between Canada and the United States is balanced, uniquely integrated, and based on free market principles," Galimberti said in an email to BNN. "It is unfortunate to see the initiation of this action which threatens to undermine our mutually beneficial relationship in the sector, and potentially harm the economics of the North American energy supply chain, especially in the U.S."