On March 22, 2017, Canada’s Federal Government tabled the 2017 Budget. Hidden within the supplemental documents is a notice of changes to the Special Import Measures Act (“SIMA”) (Canada’s antidumping and countervailing duty law). These amendments are very important – most are intended to provide domestic producers greater protection. The changes include:
- SIMA amendments to permit an antidumping investigation to be terminated where it is found that an exporter did not engage in dumping or dumped at de minimis levels. This amendment is a result of a WTO Dispute Settlement Panel decision in Canada – Carbon Steel Welded Pipe and brings Canada’s laws into compliance with WTO obligations. These amendments are beneficial for specific exporters. The 2017 Budget is silent on certain other issues identified in the WTO Carbon Steel Welded Pipe case.
- SIMA amendments to permit the Canada Border Services Agency to make “scope rulings”. Interested parties may request that the CBSA conduct a formal review to determine whether a specific product falls within the scope of a trade remedy measure. Presumably, the changes will permit domestic producers, as well as importers and foreign producers to seek scope rulings. It is possible that domestic producers will obtain samples of goods imported by importers in order to obtain scope rulings against the importers, which could lead to re-assessments of SIMA duties against the importer.
- SIMA amendments to allow domestic producers to file a complaint regarding trade and business practices specifically intended to avoid trade remedy duties. If the CBSA finds that a Canadian importer is engaging in such behaviour, antidumping/countervailing duties may be extended to goods found to circumvent a trade remedy measure. The amendments will establish a formal procedure whereby the CBSA will conduct an investigation and in which all interested parties will be able to participate. This could be problematic for specific importers and importers who also get caught in the net. It could also affect consumers. Importers will have to watch SIMA trade remedies investigations more closely to see whether their goods are added to Canadian International Trade Tribunal Orders.
- SIMA amendments to give the CBSA more flexibility when assessing reliability of home market prices of foreign producers. Where CBSA investigators find that prices are distorted due to the presence of a “particular market situation”, it will now be possible to use alternative approaches to ensure a proper price comparison. These amendments affect foreign producers/exporters and importers and consumers. These amendments could increase dumping margins and normal values calculated for cooperative exporters. The higher the dumping margin, the more likely goods will be too expensive for Canadians. The opaque process for determining normal values and export prices will become more confusing for foreign producers/exporters.
- Amendments will be made to SIMA or the Special Import Measures Regulations to ensure that unions have the right to participate as interested parties in trade remedy proceedings.
The amendments to SIMA will be included in the 2017 Budget bill when it is tabled in the House of Commons. We have not been able to locate a Notice of Ways and Means motion.
For more information about Canada’s antidumping laws, please contact Cyndee Todgham Cherniak or at email@example.com. There are many articles about Canada’s antidumping system posted on LexSage’s website.