By the Numbers: Steel, Aluminium, and Canada-U.S. Trade

Hamilton Ontario

By the Numbers: Steel, Aluminium, and Canada-U.S. Trade

The Canadian Press/Frank Gunn

March 13, 2018 4:44pmET

Canada has been temporarily spared from planned U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminium imports — perhaps pending a renegotiated NAFTA, according to U.S. President Donald Trump.

Here are some numbers on the cross-border trade:

  • In 2017, Canada exported to the United States nearly $17 billion of the steel and aluminium products included in the proposed tariffs. (Statistics Canada)
  • More than $14 billion of steel crossed the Canada-U.S. border in 2017. (Canadian Steel Producers Association)
  • Canada exported $11.1 billion of aluminium and aluminium articles to the United States in 2017 — compared to $3.6 billion of imports from the U.S. (Statistics Canada)
  • Close to 45% of Canada’s steel production is exported to the United States. Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, and New York are leading destinations.
  • Over 50% of American steel exports go to Canada.
  • Canada sent more than $5.6 billion of primary aluminium exports to the United States in 2016, with New York, Kentucky, Michigan, and Pennsylvania the top destinations. (Aluminium Association of Canada)
  • Between 2000 and 2015, Canada’s share of world aluminium production fell from 10% to 5%. For the United States: 15% to 2.7%. And for China? 11% to 55%.
  • U.S. aluminium production fell following the 2008 financial crisis and recession. But 2018 production is up 6.9% compared to this time last year. (The Aluminium Association)
  • But in Canada, primary aluminium production is down 7.6% for the first two months of 2018, compared to January and February 2017.

Here’s what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters yesterday in Saguenay, Que.:

That followed last week’s announcement by Trump — and his linkage of future tariffs on Canada and Mexico to a renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement:

Trump called for 25-per-cent and 10-per-cent duties on certain steel and aluminium imports, respectively.

But the official proclamations offer several reasons for giving special treatment to Canada and Mexico:

Our shared commitment to supporting each other in addressing national security concerns, our shared commitment to addressing global excess capacity … the physical proximity of our respective industrial bases, the robust economic integration between our countries, the export of … articles produced in the United States to Canada and Mexico, and the close relation of the economic welfare of the United States to our national security.

-Andrew Thomson