Backgrounder: Canada’s Trade Remedy System

Canada maintains a trade remedy system that provides recourse for Canadian producers that are injured by unfairly traded imports. Under this system, Canadian producers can request that anti-dumping or countervailing duties be applied on dumped or subsidized goods sold in the Canadian market.

The Minister of Finance has policy and legislative responsibility for the trade remedy system. Trade remedy investigations are jointly administered by the Canada Border Services Agency and the Canadian International Trade Tribunal.

In Budget 2016, the Government of Canada affirmed its commitment to maintaining an effective trade remedy system and announced concrete steps to ensure that domestic producers have access to the appropriate tools to respond to unfair trade.

As a first step, the Budget Implementation Act, 2016, No. 1 enacted two amendments to the Special Import Measures Act, Canada’s primary trade remedy legislation.

In addition, a public consultation is being held with respect to eight further amendments to the Special Import Measures Act that are being considered. This consultation is intended to ensure that the views of a broad range of stakeholders are taken into account in considering the design and potential impact of these changes.

The consultation addresses three key areas:

  1. Calculation of Normal Values: consideration of changes to better account for situations where prices or costs in the exporter’s home market may not be reliable for the calculation of normal values or where profit rates cannot be established on the basis of an exporter’s sales of the like good in the exporting market.
  2. Enforcement: consideration of new proceedings to address circumvention or seek clarification of what goods are subject to a measure, as well as possible changes to the granting of product exclusions.
  3. Evidentiary Standards: consideration of changes to certain evidentiary standards to ensure that trade remedy proceedings are conducted where warranted, and that interested parties have sufficient opportunity to defend their interests.

Details about these proposals and ways to provide comments are available in the Canada Gazette notice.