Annual Report March 31, 2015 - Chapter I

Chapter I Highlights

The Canadian International Trade Tribunal (the Tribunal) is recognized domestically and globally as a centre of excellence in the fair and timely adjudication of trade law matters. The Tribunal is a quasi-judicial body which provides Canadian and international businesses with access to fair, transparent and timely trade remedy and federal government procurement inquiries, and customs and excise tax appeals. At the request of the Government, the Tribunal provides advice in tariff, trade, commercial and economic matters.

The Tribunal proudly celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2014. The Tribunal began operations on December 31, 1988, as the result of a merger of the Tariff Board, the Canadian Import Tribunal and the Textile and Clothing Board. However, its history goes back to the time of Confederation and the Board of Customs, whose appellate mandate was transferred to the Tariff Board in the 1950s.

The Canadian Import Tribunal was originally established in 1969 as the Anti-dumping Tribunal. Its name change reflected a broader mandate to conduct injury inquiries in both anti-dumping and countervailing duty proceedings under the Special Import Measures Act (SIMA), as well as in safeguard cases. The Tribunal’s third predecessor, the Textile and Clothing Board, was formed in the early 1970s and inquired into safeguard complaints by the Canadian textile and apparel industries. Lastly, on January 1, 1994, the Tribunal absorbed the Procurement Review Board, extending the Tribunal’s mandate to include inquiries into whether federal procurement processes have been carried out in accordance with Canada’s domestic and international trade obligations.

October 31, 2014, demarcated the end of the modern day Tribunal, as its staff and budget were transferred to the Administrative Tribunals Support Service of Canada (ATSSC). As of November 1, 2014, the Tribunal’s Chairperson and members rely upon the ATSSC for corporate and registry services and, most significantly, its core mandate services, including trade remedy investigations, legal services and other mandate-specific work. While it is too early to assess the impact of transferring the Tribunal’s resources to a service provider, the Tribunal has quickly adapted to the new service model by, among other things, changing its governance structure to reflect this transfer.

Trade Remedies

The Tribunal plays a significant role within Canada’s trade remedy system. Under 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, 2014, there were 25 SIMA findings and orders in force, affecting approximately $8.0 billion in shipments, $0.5 billion in investments, 22,000 direct jobs and $1.4 billion in imports, representing about 2.34 percent of Canadian shipments, 1.09 percent of Canadian employment and 0.29 percent of Canadian imports.1 All of these trade remedy decisions were issued within SIMA’s tight statutory deadlines.

Procurement Review

During fiscal year 2014-2015, the Tribunal received 69 new procurement complaints and issued 65 decisions on whether to accept the complaints for inquiry. The Tribunal also issued 27 final decisions on merit where complaints were accepted for inquiry. Combined, this represents a total of 92 decisions. The 69 complaints that the Tribunal received in this fiscal year pertained to 50 different contracts with a collective value of over $950 million.2 All procurement review decisions were issued within the Tribunal’s legislated deadlines.

Appeals

Pursuant to SIMA, the Customs Act and the Excise Tax Act, a total of 50 appeals were filed with the Tribunal during the reporting period. The Tribunal issued 23 decisions under the Customs Act, 24 decisions under the Excise Tax Act and 3 decisions under SIMA. All appellate decisions issued in 2014-2015 were issued within 120 days of being heard by the Tribunal.

Caseload

The first table below contains statistics pertaining to the Tribunal’s caseload for 2014-2015. The second table contains statistics relating to other case-related activities in 2014-2015. These statistics illustrate the complexity and diversity of the cases considered by the Tribunal.

Tribunal Caseload Overview—2014-2015

  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, 2015)

Trade remedies

Preliminary injury inquiries - 3 3 N/A N/A 3 - -
Inquiries 1 3 4 N/A N/A 2 - 2
Requests for public interest inquiries 1 1 2 - 1 1 - 1
Public interest inquiries - - - - - - - -
Requests for interim reviews - 1 1 - 1 1 - -
Interim reviews 1 - 1 N/A N/A - - 1
Expiries1 1 5 6 6 - 6 - -
Expiry reviews - 6 6 N/A N/A 3 - 3
Remanded cases - - - N/A N/A - - -
TOTAL 4 19 23 6 2 16 - 7
Procurement
Complaints received 1 69 70 33 32 65 2 3
Complaints accepted for inquiry 8 N/A 8 N/A N/A 27 4 10
Remanded cases2 - - - N/A N/A - N/A -
TOTAL 9 69 78 33 32 92 6 13
Appeals                
Extensions of time                

Customs Act

- 2 2 N/A N/A 2 - -

Excise Tax Act

- - - N/A N/A - - -

TOTAL

-

2

2

N/A

N/A

2

-

-

Appeals                

Customs Act

40 47 87 N/A N/A 23 20 44

Excise Tax Act

26 - 26 N/A N/A 24 - 2

Special Import Measures Act

3 3 6 N/A N/A 3 - 3
Remanded cases - 2 2 N/A N/A - - 2

TOTAL

69

52

121

N/A

N/A

50

20

51

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 2014-2015

  Trade Remedy Activities Procurement Review Activities Appeals Standing Textile Reference TOTAL

Orders

Disclosure orders

23

-

-

-

23

Cost award orders

N/A

13

N/A

N/A

13

Compensation orders

N/A

3

N/A

N/A

3

Production orders

3

6

2

-

11

Postponement of award orders

N/A

2

N/A

N/A

2

Rescission of postponement of award orders

N/A

1

N/A

N/A

1

Directions/administrative rulings

Requests for information

202

-

-

-

202

Motions

-

11

2

-

13

Subpoenas

2

-

1

-

3

Other statistics

Public hearing days

17

4

23

-

44

File hearings1

11

57

7

-

75

Witnesses

53

22

38

-

113

Participants

133

113

143

-

389

Questionnaire replies

268

N/A

N/A

-

268

Pages of official records2

101,061

43,209

38,229

-

182,499

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