OTTAWA — Members and associates from the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC) met with parliamentarians from all political stripes at the fourth annual Day on the Hill in Ottawa recently, asking them to support and take action on critical issues in the steel construction industry, including prompt payment legislation, the removal of U.S. Section 232 steel tariffs and LNG Canada’s remission request regarding waived duties on fabricated industrial steel components.
The steel industry is urging government to pass immediate federal prompt payment legislation in construction. Legislation will benefit the small to medium construction companies, which represent 70 per cent of all employers in the construction sector and comprise 1.4 million people in Canada, indicates a release.
They are also advocating for the immediate removal of the 25 per cent steel tariffs imposed by the U.S. Since their inception earlier this year, the effects of these tariffs, in addition to Canadian countermeasures and world safeguards, have had significant negative effects on the Canadian steel construction industry, the release explains.
The downstream steel construction sectors are facing an increase in contractual risk and uncertainty and Canadian steel fabricators are at a global competitive disadvantage with these tariffs, putting their ability to secure contracts on large infrastructure or industrial construction projects at risk, says the CISC.
The Canadian government is also considering granting a duty remission to LNG Canada on fabricated steel. One of its partners is Petro China.
According to the release, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal levied trade duties against China in June 2017 after China was proven to be illegally dumping fabricated steel into Canada at up to 48 per cent, in addition to illegally subsidizing its industry up to $2,300 per metric tonne.
“The Canadian steel fabrication industry is quite capable and able to complete this project and other projects like it,” says Ed Whalen, president and CEO of the CISC. “The argument that Canadian trades don’t have the expertise and that the project is too complex for Canada is just plain false. The real story here is that there is no other place in the world where illegal dumping and subsidizing is so extreme than in China.”