Canada gives border security extra money to crack down on cheap steel, aluminum

OTTAWA _ The federal government is announcing $30 million in new money to crack down on companies that try to ship cheap foreign steel and aluminum through the Canadian market.

The government announced last month it was taking the extra steps to investigate trade-related complaints involving steel and aluminum.

The new, five-year spending commitment kicks in immediately and will be followed by annual increases of $6.8 million for the Canada Border Services Agency and Global Affairs Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office says the new measures will allow the hiring of 40 new officers to investigate complaints and ensure the collection of more accurate data on import trends.

The regulatory changes come as differences over steel emerged once again this week as an irritant in the North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiation taking place in Washington.

Differences of opinion have emerged on how to limit the trans-shipment of over-produced Chinese steel through Canada, into the U.S.

Trudeau says the new money will help level the playing field for industries and workers and protect them from unfair trade practices.

“Part of that includes making sure Canadian trade enforcement agencies have the resources they need to defend the competitiveness of our businesses and our important North American trading relationships,” Trudeau said in a statement.

“We will stand up for our workers and industries and do what is needed to preserve the fair and open trading environment they depend on.”