Annual report March 31, 2019 - Chapter I

Chapter 1 - Summary

The Canadian International Trade Tribunal is recognized, both here at home and on the international stage, as a centre of excellence in the fair and timely resolution 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 inquiries, federal government procurement inquiries, and customs and excise tax appeals. At the request of the Government, the Tribunal provides advice in economic and tariff matters.

History of the Tribunal

The Tribunal began operations on December 31, 1988, following the 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 1930s. In 1994, the Tribunal absorbed the Procurement Review Board. In 2014, the staff and budget of the Tribunal were transferred to the AdministrativeTribunals Support Service of Canada (ATSSC). Its staff is now part of the CITT Secretariat of the ATSSC.

1931 The Tariff Board was established to inquire into economic matters referred to it by the Minister of Finance. The powers of the Board of Customs are also transferred to the Tariff Board.
1969 The Canadian Import Tribunal was originally established 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.
1970s 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.
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

Trade Remedy Inquiries

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. The Tribunal issued 27 trade remedies decisions plus one safeguard decision during the fiscal year—compared to 21 the year before. These decisions related primarily to the steel sector, but also concerned products such as silicon metal, gypsum board, and nitisinone capsules. All the decisions were issued within the tight deadlines set out in SIMA.

Dumping occurs when a foreign producer exports at a price that is lower than their normal value (generally, either the domestic selling price of comparable goods in the country of export, or the constructed cost of production of the goods exported to Canada).

Subsidizing occurs when goods imported into Canada benefit from foreign government financial assistance.

Procurement Inquiries

During fiscal year 2018-2019, the Tribunal received 69 complaints pertaining to more than $15 billion in federal procurement. The Tribunal issued 64 decisions on whether to accept complaints for injury. The Tribunal also issued 28 final decisions on merit where complaints were accepted for inquiry. Combined, this represented a total of 92 decisions compared to 93 the year before. All procurement review decisions were issued within legislated deadlines.

Customs and Excise Appeals

A total of 70 appeals were filed (69 under the Customs Act, and one under SIMA) during the reporting period, and 4 extension of time requests were received. The Tribunal issued 20 appeal decisions and one remand decision under the Customs Act. All of the appeals were decided within 120 days of being heard by the Tribunal.

Caseload

The first table below contains statistics pertaining to the Tribunal’s caseload for 2018-2019. The second table contains statistics relating to other case-related activities in 2018-2019. These statistics illustrate the complexity and diversity of the cases considered by the Tribunal.

Tribunal Caseload Overview—2018-2019

  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, 2019)
Trade remedies
Preliminary injury inquiries 0 6 6 N/A 1 5 0 0
Inquiries 2 5 7 N/A N/A 6 0 0
Requests for public interest inquiries 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Public interest inquiries 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Requests for interim reviews 1 1 2 1 0 1 0 1
Interim reviews 0 0 1 N/A N/A 1 0 0
Expiries1 0 9 9 8 0 8 0 1
Expiry reviews 5 8 13 N/A N/A 6 0 7
Safeguards 0 1 1 N/A N/A 0 0 1
Remanded cases 0 0 0 N/A N/A 0 0 0
Total 8 31 39 9 1 27 0 11
Procurement
Complaints received 1 69 70 28 36 64 3 3
Complaints accepted for inquiry 5 N/A 5 N/A N/A 28 0 5
Remanded cases2 0 0 0 N/A N/A 0 N/A 0
Total 6 69 75 28 36 92 3 8
Appeals
Extensions of time
Customs Act 0 4 4 N/A N/A 3 0 1
Excise Tax Act 0 0 0 N/A N/A 0 0 0
Total 0 4 4 N/A N/A 3 0 1
Appeals
Customs Act 57 69 126 N/A N/A 20 21 85
Excise Tax Act 0 0 0 N/A N/A 0 0 0
Special Import Measures Act 1 1 2 N/A N/A 0 2 0
Remanded cases 0 2 2 N/A N/A 1 0 1
Total 58 72 130 N/A N/A 21 23 86

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 2018-2019 

  Trade Remedy Activities Procurement Review Activities Appeals Standing Textile Reference Total
Orders
Disclosure orders 36 0 0 0 36
Cost award orders N/A 16 N/A N/A 16
Compensation orders N/A 2 N/A N/A 2
Production orders 5 0 0 0 5
Postponement of award orders N/A 1 N/A N/A 1
Rescission of postponement of award orders N/A 1 N/A N/A 1
Directions/administrative rulings
Requests for information 223 0 0 0 223
Motions 1 8 1 0 10
Subpoenas 12 0 0 0 12
Other statistics
Public hearing days 24 0 15 0 39
File hearings1 20 66 11 0 97
Witnesses 86 0 28 0 114
Participants 175 106 100 0 381
Questionnaire replies 387 0 0 0 387
Pages of official records2 174,684 51,460 26,208 0 252,352

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