The purpose of this notice is to inform counsel, parties and stakeholders of a procedural change to the way in which the Canadian International Trade Tribunal will conduct preliminary injury inquiries under the Special Import Measures Act and the resulting impact that this change will have on the schedule for preliminary injury inquiries.
The Tribunal recognizes that the early resolution of issues of like goods and/or classes of goods could simplify any injury inquiry that is initiated by the Tribunal as a result of a preliminary determination of dumping and/or subsidizing and a preliminary determination of injury. The early resolution of these issues could also reduce the burden on parties and questionnaire respondents. While issues of like goods and/or classes of goods are typically raised at the preliminary injury inquiry stage, there is often too little information available on these issues, as well as insufficient opportunity to test the evidence during a preliminary injury inquiry.
To address these situations, the Tribunal, on its own initiative or upon request from a party, may conduct a teleconference or issue matter-specific questionnaires.
The purpose of the teleconference is to allow the Tribunal to ask questions and gather evidence on these issues.
Any party that wishes to raise or respond to issues of like goods and/or classes of goods should include the names of up to two potential witnesses with the written submissions that they file with the Tribunal.
Notice of the tentative date of this teleconference will be provided in the Tribunal’s notice of commencement of preliminary injury inquiry, and specific details will be provided to parties in advance of the teleconference. If a teleconference is held, it will generally take place around days 38–40 of the preliminary injury inquiry. The teleconference will be conducted entirely in public. Confidential information will not be discussed at this teleconference. The teleconference will be limited in scope. Its focus will be to hear the types of evidence that the Tribunal normally considers when it examines the issues of like goods and/or classes of goods, including their physical characteristics (such as composition and appearance) and market characteristics (such as substitutability, pricing, distribution channels and end uses).
Each side, beginning with the complainants, will be given 10 minutes for an opening statement in which to summarize their position and introduce any witnesses. Following this step, the presiding member and/or support staff will take up to 30 minutes to question each witness or panel of witnesses. Opposing parties will then have approximately 15 minutes for cross-examination. This will be followed by 5 minutes for redirect. Finally, each side will have 10 minutes to present any rebuttal and summary arguments. If more than one party supports or opposes a preliminary determination of injury, the parties are expected to allocate their allotted time among themselves. These time limits are guidelines only and may vary depending on the circumstances of a particular case.
The teleconference will be presided over by a member of the Tribunal directed by the chairperson of the Tribunal to receive evidence relating to these issues. A transcript of the teleconference will be put on the record for the benefit of the full panel of members assigned to the preliminary injury inquiry.
The teleconference may lead to certain undertakings by parties, or further preliminary submissions, according to those conditions to be determined by the presiding member.
Questionnaires will be limited in scope and designed to assist the Tribunal in gathering the types of evidence that it normally considers when examining issues of like goods and/or classes of goods, including their physical characteristics (such as composition and appearance) and market characteristics (such as substitutability, pricing, distribution channels and end uses).
At the beginning of the preliminary injury inquiry, parties will be asked to provide the Tribunal with the names of their top purchasers. In cases where questionnaires are used, they will be posted on the Tribunal’s website, and letters will be sent to purchasers asking them to download and complete the applicable questionnaire. Questionnaire responses will be distributed to parties that will then have an opportunity to file brief comments (three to five pages). The responses to the questionnaires and any comments filed by parties will be placed on the record of the preliminary injury inquiry.
Any decision with respect to the issues of like goods and/or classes of goods will be made by the full panel at the conclusion of the preliminary injury inquiry and will form part of the Tribunal’s reasons for its preliminary determination.
Changes to the schedule for preliminary injury inquiries
Adjustments have been made to the notional schedule for preliminary injury inquires to allow for a teleconference or the completion of questionnaires and the distribution of questionnaire responses to parties.
The Tribunal will now endeavour to distribute the information received from the Canada Border Services Agency on day 18 instead of day 22, with submissions of parties that oppose the complaint being due on day 28 and reply submissions from complainants and other parties that support the complaint due on day 35.
In cases where the Tribunal holds a teleconference or uses questionnaires, the Tribunal will issue its statement of reasons on day 80, instead of day 75. Please refer to the Tribunal’s updated Preliminary and Final Injury Inquiry Guidelines for more information.