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Steel imports necessary in British Columbia

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To the editor; the recent article on steel imports makes some wild allegations that must be corrected so that your readers get a complete picture of the fundamental role steel imports play in British Columbia.

Letter to the Editor

To the editor; the recent article on steel imports makes some wild allegations that must be corrected so that your readers get a complete picture of the fundamental role steel imports play in British Columbia.

First, there are virtually no domestic suppliers of rebar for the BC marketplace. BC’s demand for rebar is between 160,000 and 180,000 tons per year and has been supplied almost exclusively by the United States, Turkey, Korea and China. Rebar is heavy and awkward to handle making ground transportation to BC from eastern mills very expensive. When all costs are considered and if domestic supply was even available it would be almost 50% more expensive.

Imported rebar must meet CSA standards. Third party verification of the product ensures the rebar meets our standards and the testing is done twice before the rebar is permitted on the job site. Claims of inferior quality imports in Canada are simply untrue.

ICBA and the BC Government are intervening in the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) seeking an exemption for our province from any rebar tariffs.

This more balanced approach recognizes the unique situation of the BC marketplace.

If the Canadian Steel lobby and its unions want construction clients in the rest of Canada to pay more so that eastern Canadian operations (most of which are foreign owned) can be more profitable let them do so, just leave BC out.

Philip Hochstein

President, ICBA

by Journal Of Commerce

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