Message from the Chairperson
July 3, 2019
It is my pleasure to present the Annual Report for the Canadian International Trade Tribunal for the period of April 1, 2018, to March 31, 2019, and in doing so to underscore the following developments and successes.
Further to extensive consultations with stakeholders, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal Rules were modernized in order to provide for greater efficiencies and cost savings to parties appearing before the Tribunal.
The Tribunal’s volume in trade remedies cases increased again, as it had in recent years. This high volume will persist, notably because the Tribunal will conduct several expiry reviews during the current and upcoming fiscal years.
Without a doubt the Tribunal’s single biggest endeavour during this period was the Safeguard Inquiry into Certain Steel Goods that the Governor in Council referred to the Tribunal in October 2018. This was a major undertaking involving seven steel product categories. The Tribunal held hearings in January 2019 and issued a final report and recommendations in April 2019.
The Tribunal heard several important procurement reviews and customs appeals cases during the period. Volume of cases in these mandates remains constant, of a high dollar value, and continues to raise questions of importance to Canadian and foreign stakeholders, including domestic small and medium enterprises.
Excellence, fairness, transparency and accessibility remain central to the Tribunal’s values and guide the manner in which it hears its cases and makes it decisions. The Tribunal strives to ensure that its processes are simple and accessible, and that the confidential information that is required in its proceedings is stringently protected. The recent amendments to the CITT Rules underscore and renew the Tribunal’s commitment to ensuring straightforward and easy access to administrative justice for all parties. In this regard, the Tribunal has been working closely with the CITT Advisory Committee to constantly examine options for improvements. The Tribunal has already established an infrastructure that greatly facilitates the use of videoconference hearings, and has made its records entirely electronic.
The pages that follow provide details of the Tribunal’s activities over the past year.
Again this year, I want to thank the staff of the Tribunal’s Secretariat. The Tribunal takes pride in its global reputation for excellence. It has earned the confidence of its stakeholders, including Canadian businesses. This would not have been possible without the professionalism and the dedication of the staff of the Secretariat that supports the Tribunal in fulfilling its mandates. Their work brings great repute to the Tribunal, the Public Service and to Canadians.
Jean Bédard, Q.C.
Canadian Interntional Trade Tribunal