On January 10, 2018, Canada circulated to WTO members a request for consultations challenging several aspects of the United States antidumping and countervailing proceedings. The request for consultation is available on the WTO’s website and can be found here.

In particular, Canada challenges:

  1. the way in which the U.S. Department of Commerce refunds cash deposits after adverse WTO determinations;
  2. the United States’ suspension of liquidation of cash deposit requirements when the U.S. Department of Commerce preliminarily determines critical circumstances exist;
  3. the U.S. Department of Commerce’s treatment of certain export measures by foreign governments in the agency’s countervailing duty proceedings;
  4. the U.S. Department of Commerce’s calculation of benefits involving the provision of goods for less than adequate remuneration in the agency’s countervailing duty proceedings; and
  5. the U.S. Department of Commerce’s procedures for collecting evidence in antidumping and countervailing duty investigations.

Perhaps most concerning to U.S. industries is Canada’s challenge to the United States’ tiebreaker rule. The U.S. International Trade Commission determines whether a domestic industry on whose behalf an antidumping or countervailing duty investigation has been initiated is injured, threatened with injury, or whether material retardation of the establishment of an industry in the United States has occurred. The Commission, which is typically comprised of six Commissioners, can contain no more than three Commissioners from any one political party. When a Commission vote results in a tie, however, 19 U.S.C. § 1677(11) provides that the determination shall be deemed affirmative.

The next step in the process is for the United States and Canada to consult on the request, and those engagements will be closely watched by the trade community.

As of January 4, 2018, there are 416 antidumping and countervailing duty orders in place, only four of which involve Canada. A list of the orders currently in place is available on the U.S. International Trade Commission’s website.