Annual report March 31, 2021 - Chapter 4

Chapter 4 – Safeguard Reference

International trade rules allow Canada to temporarily restrict imports to allow Canadian producers to adapt to increased imports which cause or threaten to cause serious injury. These temporary measures are called safeguards. The Tribunal has the authority to inquire into safeguard complaints from Canadian producers, as well as safeguard references from the Government of Canada. Complaints from Canadian producers can cover imports from all countries (global safeguards) or just imports from countries with which Canada has signed a free trade agreement (bilateral safeguards). When directed by the Government, the Tribunal may also recommend appropriate remedies to offset the harmful effects of import surges.

On October 10, 2018, the Tribunal was directed by the Order Referring to the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, for Inquiry into and Reporting on, the Matter of the Importation of Certain Steel Goods, P.C. 2018-1275 to conduct a safeguard inquiry concerning the importation into Canada of certain steel goods. Following the issuance, on April 3, 2019, of the Tribunal’s report to the Governor in Council, the Government of Canada implemented final safeguard measures on May 9, 2019, in the form of tariff rate quotas on imports of heavy plate and stainless steel wire other than goods originating in Korea, Panama, Peru, Colombia, Honduras, or countries whose goods are eligible for General Preferential Tariff treatment. These measures, adopted in the Order Imposing a Surtax on the Importation of Certain Steel Goods, SOR/2018-206 (Surtax Order), are scheduled to expire after October 24, 2021.

On May 9, 2019, the Tribunal was further directed by the Order Referring to the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, for Inquiry into and Reporting on, the Matter of the Exclusion of Certain Steel Goods from the Order Imposing a Surtax on the Importation of Certain Steel Goods, P.C. 2019-0476 (Exclusions Inquiry Order) to conduct inquiries, at specified six-month intervals, regarding exclusion requests concerning certain heavy plate and stainless steel wire which are subject to safeguard measures enacted in the Surtax Order.

During the fiscal year, the Tribunal conducted its third inquiry and submitted a report to the Governor in Council in response to the Exclusions Inquiry Order. The Tribunal issued its report on November 10, 2020. The Tribunal received one request for a product exclusion for certain stainless steel wire. Having considered the arguments and evidence of the parties to the proceeding, the Tribunal recommended that the exclusion request be denied.

On March 26, 2021, the Tribunal gave notice, pursuant to subsection 30.03(1) of the CITT Act, that the Surtax Order was scheduled to expire on October 24, 2021. As part of this notice, the Tribunal advised that any domestic producer of goods that are like or directly competitive with certain heavy plate and stainless steel wire that are subject to safeguard measures enacted in the Surtax Order, or any person or association acting on behalf of any such domestic producer, may, pursuant to subsection 30.04(1) of the CITT Act, file with the Tribunal a written request that an extension order be made under subsection 63(1) of the Customs Tariff because an order continues to be necessary to prevent or remedy serious injury to domestic producers of like or directly competitive goods. Having received no extension requests in respect of the Surtax Order by the specified deadline, the Tribunal gave notice, on April 15, 2021, that it would not commence an extension inquiry.