Steel for molds may be exempted from a Canadian government agency's recently proposed restrictions on imports, several industry sources said.
Officials with the Canadian Plastics Industry Association and the Canadian Association of Moldmakers said they still are digesting an Aug. 19 proposal from the Canadian International Trade Tribunal in Ottawa, but both CPIA and CAM said it appears the government will exempt steels for molds.
CITT recommended that the government impose a system of import quotas, including on steel from the United States.
Faris Shammas, chief economist with CPIA in Mississauga, Ontario, said there were concerns earlier that mold steel would be part of the restrictions. But the industry argued that restrictions could pose antitrust problems because most mold steel is imported and the plastics industry competes with steel, he said.
Lois Papp, industrial strategist with CAM in Windsor, Ontario, said that group still is studying CITT's 405-page proposal.
``That is what we think it will be - it will be exempt,'' he said. ``However, we have to be careful and read between the fine lines of how they define steel.''
The U.S. government's steel tariffs don't seem to have affected the plastics industry, several sources said.
Scott Harris, president of the American Mold Builders Association of Roselle, Ill., said members have not reported rising prices or other problems from the tariffs.
``We haven't seen price or delivery problems,'' said Harris, who also is president of Harris Precision Mold in Tempe, Ariz.
Under the Bush administration's tariffs, tool steel has a general exemption, and several grades of specialty mold steel also have been exempted. The administration's last exemptions for the year, handed down Aug. 22, included several more exemptions for tool steel.