June 23, 2020 / 4:38 PM / 18 days ago

Canada denies its aluminum exports harm U.S. market, official says

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada on Tuesday denied its aluminum exports harm the U.S. market and is underlining this point to its American partners, a Canadian official said on Tuesday after Bloomberg reported Washington planned to reimpose tariffs.

The possible punitive measures could be announced by Friday and be implemented by July 1, when the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement is due to come into effect, Bloomberg reported on Monday. The Canadian and U.S. aluminum industries are highly integrated.

“We firmly believe that our aluminum exports do not harm the U.S. market. We are emphasizing this in our ongoing conversations with our American partners,” said Katherine Cuplinskas, a spokeswoman for Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland.

The American Primary Aluminum Association, which represents two of the last three remaining primary producers in the United States, last month complained that a surge in Canadian imports “is destroying what remains of the United States industry” and demanded tariffs.

The U.S. Aluminum Association, which has a much larger membership, disagrees with that position. The United States imposed tariffs on Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminum imports in 2018 but removed them last year.

“We’re taking this threat seriously. We have to regularly remind our neighbors that it is important to work together,” Jean-Yves Duclos, a minister in the Canadian government, told reporters.

“We’ve known for some time now that the United States has not only protectionist attitudes but measures.”

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Paul Simao

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