Annual Report March 31, 2014 - Chapter I

Chapter I Highlights

The Canadian International Trade Tribunal (the Tribunal) provides Canadian and international businesses with access to fair, transparent and timely processes for the investigation of trade remedy cases and complaints concerning federal government procurement and for the adjudication of customs and excise tax appeals on customs and excise tax matters. At the request of the Government, the Tribunal provides advice in tariff, trade, commercial and economic matters.

The Tribunal is proudly celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The Tribunal, which began operations in 1989, is the result of successfully merging four federal tribunals—the Tariff Board, which had been in existence since 1931, the Canadian Import Tribunal, whose predecessor, the Anti-Dumping Tribunal, dated back to 1968, the Textile and Clothing Board, which was established in 1971, and the Procurement Review Board of Canada, which was founded in 1988.

Each of the Tribunal’s predecessors evolved in response to particular historical trade issues. In 1904, Canada was the first country to pass anti-dumping legislation, but it was not until the completion of the Kennedy Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade multilateral trade negotiations in the 1960s that Canada required an independent tribunal to adjudicate the question of whether the dumping of imported goods caused material injury to domestic production before anti-dumping duties could be levied.

Today, the Tribunal has the consolidated investigative, adjudicative and advisory functions of its predecessors, and, in any given year, the impact of its decisions can exceed $5 billion and lead to the creation and retention of thousands of jobs in Canada.

Moreover, across all areas of its mandate, the Tribunal is recognized as a centre of excellence internationally and domestically. In fiscal year 2013-2014, none of the Tribunal’s decisions was overturned.

Trade Remedies

The Tribunal plays a significant role within Canada’s trade remedy system. Under the Special Import Measures Act (SIMA), the Tribunal determines whether the dumping and subsidizing of imported goods cause injury or threaten to cause injury to a domestic industry. As of December 31, 2013, there were 25 SIMA findings and orders in force, affecting approximately $7.7 billion in shipments, $0.5 billion in investments, 22,000 direct jobs and $1.2 billion in imports, representing about 2.18 percent of Canadian shipments, 1.70 percent of Canadian investments, 1.07 percent of Canadian employment and 0.32 percent of Canadian imports.1

In fiscal year 2013-2014, the Tribunal faced an exceptionally challenging workload: not only was the number of trade remedy cases the highest in a decade, but many of these cases arrived almost simultaneously, in a period of less than six weeks. Despite this extremely elevated caseload and the time constraints faced by the Tribunal under its legislated deadlines, the Tribunal successfully met all statutory deadlines: all staff reports, decisions and reasons were issued on time and all met the Tribunal’s high quality standards. This notable accomplishment would have been impossible without the hard work, professionalism and dedication of all staff and members.

Procurement Review

During fiscal year 2013-2014, the Tribunal received 49 new procurement complaints and issued 46 decisions on whether to accept the complaints for inquiry. The Tribunal also issued final decisions on merit where complaints were accepted for inquiry. Combined, this represents a total of 60 decisions. The 49 complaints that the Tribunal received in this fiscal year pertained to 44 different contracts with a collective value of over $128 million.2 All procurement decisions were issued within the Tribunal’s statutory deadlines.

The Tribunal also sought to improve access to the procurement complaint process. More details are found in Chapter IV.

Appeals

Pursuant to SIMA, the Customs Act and the Excise Tax Act, a total of 61 appeals were filed with the Tribunal during the reporting period. The Tribunal issued decisions in 33 appeals from decisions of the President of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) pursuant to the Customs Act, 1 decision under the Excise Tax Act and 8 decisions under SIMA. The Tribunal has an internal standard of 120 days from the hearing date within which it endeavours to render its appeal decisions. All decisions issued in 2013-2014 were issued within this time frame.

Outreach Activities

The Tribunal is internationally recognized as a centre of excellence in the various areas of its mandate. Tribunal members and staff regularly make presentations before various international, legal, administrative and academic bodies. The Tribunal regularly hosts foreign delegations interested in learning about the areas of its mandate. In fiscal year 2013-2014, Tribunal staff gave presentations to a delegation from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and to officials from Colombia. Tribunal staff also regularly makes presentations to other government departments and agencies involved in international trade. During fiscal year 2013-3014, Tribunal staff held a technical exchange with the United States Government Accountability Office, with the United States International Trade Commission and with the United States Department of Commerce. In addition, the Tribunal made its expertise available to Canada’s trade negotiators in the context of providing the practitioner’s point of view on various trade agreements.

Caseload

The first table below contains statistics pertaining to the Tribunal’s caseload for 2013-2014. The second table contains statistics relating to other case-related activities in 2013-2014. These statistics illustrate the complexity and diversity of the cases considered by the Tribunal.

Tribunal Caseload Overview—2013-2014

 

Cases Brought Forward From Previous Fiscal Year

Cases Received in Fiscal Year

Total

Decisions to Initiate

Decisions Not to Initiate

Total Decisions/ Reports Issued

Cases Withdrawn/ Closed

Cases Outstanding (March 31, 2014)

Trade remedies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preliminary injury inquiries

1

3

4

N/A

N/A

4

-

-

Inquiries

-

5

5

N/A

N/A

4

-

1

Requests for public interest inquiries

-

2

2

-

-

-

1

1

Public interest inquiries

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Requests for interim reviews

3

2

5

2

3

5

-

-

Interim reviews

-

3

3

N/A

N/A

2

-

1

Expiries1

2

3

5

3

1

4

-

1

Expiry reviews

2

3

5

N/A

N/A

5

-

-

Remanded cases

-

-

-

N/A

N/A

-

-

-

TOTAL

8

21

29

5

4

24

1

4

Procurement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Complaints received

-

49

49

20

26

46

2

1

Complaints accepted for inquiry

2

N/A

2

N/A

N/A

14

-

8

Remanded cases2

-

-

-

N/A

N/A

-

N/A

-

TOTAL

2

49

51

20

26

60

2

9

Appeals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Extensions of time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Customs Act

6

-

6

N/A

N/A

2

4

-

Excise Tax Act

-

1

1

N/A

N/A

1

-

-

TOTAL

6

1

7

N/A

N/A

3

4

-

Appeals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Customs Act

50

57

107

N/A

N/A

33

34

40

Excise Tax Act

26

1

27

N/A

N/A

1

-

26

Special Import Measures Act

10

3

13

N/A

N/A

8

2

3

Remanded cases

-

-

-

N/A

N/A

-

-

-

TOTAL

86

61

147

N/A

N/A

42

36

69

Standing textile reference

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Requests to initiate investigations

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Investigations

-

-

-

N/A

N/A

-

-

-

1. With respect to expiries, “decisions to initiate” refer to decisions to initiate expiry reviews.

2. Where a single remand decision is issued in respect of multiple cases, it is accounted for as a single remanded case.

N/A = Not applicable

Statistics Relating to Case Activities in 2013-2014

 

Trade Remedy Activities

Procurement Review Activities

Appeals

Standing Textile Reference

TOTAL

Orders

 

 

 

 

 

Disclosure orders

23

-

-

-

23

Cost award orders

N/A

5

N/A

N/A

5

Compensation orders

N/A

-

N/A

N/A

-

Production orders

3

1

-

-

4

Postponement of award orders

N/A

5

N/A

N/A

5

Rescission of postponement of award orders

N/A

3

N/A

N/A

3

Directions/administrative rulings

 

 

 

 

 

Requests for information

91

-

-

-

91

Motions

2

6

3

-

11

Subpoenas

2

-

-

-

2

Other statistics

 

 

 

 

 

Public hearing days

28

-

39

-

67

File hearings1

13

40

12

-

65

Witnesses

100

-

54

-

154

Participants

188

65

169

-

422

Questionnaire replies

274

N/A

N/A

-

274

Pages of official records2

97,136

14,770

40,978

-

152,884

1. A file hearing occurs where the Tribunal renders a decision on the basis of written submissions, without holding a public hearing.

2. Estimated.

N/A = Not applicable