Trade tiff drives steel prices higher
July 20, 2018
Canadian steel prices are hitting record highs this year and the Canadian Coalition for Construction Steel (CCCS) is calling on the federal government to look closely at any plans to tax imported steel, such as rebar.
The Residential Construction Council of Ontario predicts that the cost of an average condominium unit could rise by as much as $10,000 - $12,000 due to increased steel costs.
Canada's steel producers only have the capacity to supply roughly 50 per cent of Canadian demand for construction steel. Canada has historically relied on the United States about 25 per cent of its demand. For remaining 25 per cent, Canada will continue to need steel imported from outside of North America. That need is more acute than ever now that U.S. imports are subject to Canadian retaliatory tariffs, the CCCS noted.
The organization is urging Ottawa to act cautiously.
"We support the federal government's measured response to the U.S. tariffs," said Anoop Khosla, the managing director of Midvalley Rebar, a construction steel fabricator and coalition member in Surrey, B.C. "However, we are worried that the Government is considering safeguard measures – some combination of tariffs or quotas – on imports of rebar and other construction steel from Canada's other trading partners."