Trade Compliance

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Consultation on Proposed Amendments to Canada’s Trade Remedy System

Posted May 06, 2016

The Department of Finance has launched a public consultation regarding a number of proposed amendments to the Special Import Measures Act (SIMA), the primary trade remedy legislation which helps to protect Canadian industry from injury caused by the dumping and subsidizing of imported goods.

The consultation was announced in Budget 2016 as part of the Trudeau government’s commitment to taking “concrete steps to ensure that domestic producers have access to the appropriate tools to respond to unfair trade.”

As a first step, the Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 1 (Bill C-15) enacted two amendments to the SIMA: the first concerning situations where the margins of dumping and amounts of subsidy are determined to be insignificant, and the second revising the limitation periods for Canada Border Services Agency and Canadian International Trade Tribunal decisions in an expiry review.

The public consultation is being held regarding eight further amendments to the legislation addressing three key areas:

Calculation of Normal Values: changes to better account for situations where prices or costs in the exporter’s home market may not be reliable for the calculation of normal values or where profit rates cannot be established on the basis of an exporter’s sales of the like good in the exporting market.

Enforcement: new proceedings to address circumvention or seek clarification of what goods are subject to a measure, as well as possible changes to the granting of product exclusions.

Evidentiary Standards: changes to certain evidentiary standards to ensure that trade remedy proceedings are conducted where warranted, and that interested parties have sufficient opportunity to defend their interests.

The Department of Finance states that global trade conditions have evolved significantly since Canadian trade remedy laws were last reviewed in 1996 and that the amendments to SIMA being considered are therefore needed to help ensure that the system continues to provide adequate recourse to domestic producers.

Interested stakeholders may include domestic producers that utilize SIMA, as well as others with an interest in trade remedies, such as importers, exporters and consumers. Comments and other submissions will be accepted prior to the end of June.

Additional details and links can be found of the Finance Department website here.

Related: Hidden Changes to Antidumping/Countervailing Duty Laws (Canada-U.S. Blog)