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Canada has begun a dumping investigation into steel imported from China, Vietnam and South Korea, just days before a Canadian exemption on U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum is set to expire.

The Canadian International Trade Tribunal, will investigate whether cold rolled steel coil and strip coming from those three countries is harming the industry in Canada. The CITT is acting on a complaint by Hamilton-based ArcelorMittal Dofasco GP.

Canada won an exemption from U.S. tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum earlier this year in part after agreeing to police Canadian borders and imports to make sure offshore steel from countries subject to the tariffs wasn’t entering the United States through Canada.

But the U.S. government also tied a continuing exemption to the tariffs to negotiations on revamping the North American free trade agreement. Those talks have stalled, although Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland will travel to Washington Tuesday for two days of talks as negotiators from Canada, the United States and Mexico meet. Ms. Freeland is expected to meet U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lightizer, a source familiar with her plans said.

The United States said last week that it has begun studying whether vehicles imported into that country have caused the auto industry to decline so much that they represent a security threat, using the same legislation that allowed the Americans to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum.

The CITT said it will determine by July whether there is a reasonable indication that the steel is being dumped and subsidized by the three countries and is causing injury.

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