On 15th January 2020, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal commenced a second exclusions inquiry (Inquiry No. GC-2018-001-E2) regarding exclusion requests concerning imports of certain heavy steel plate and stainless steel wire products that are currently subject to Canada’s steel safeguard measures (see “Canada Announces Provisional Steel Safeguard Measures” and “New Notice to Importers published concerning the Administration of the Safeguard Measures on Certain Imports of Heavy Steel Plate and Stainless Steel Wire”).
The Notice of Commencement for the exclusions inquiry provides that the Tribunal’s mandate is to determine (i) whether or not there is at least one domestic source of supply for goods that are the subject of an exclusion request, or (ii) whether there is a Canadian manufacturer with a commercially viable plan to produce such goods in Canada. Where specific products are not made in Canada and must therefore be sourced from other countries, imports of such goods cannot be said to be causing or threatening to cause injury to Canadian steel producers. Under these circumstances, the protection afforded to the Canadian steel industry by a safeguard measure would not be warranted for the product in question. It is on this basis that the Tribunal is authorized to grant an exclusion from the safeguard measures for imports of such products.
The Schedule for the exclusions inquiry has been posted on the Tribunal’s website as part of the above-referenced Notice of Commencement. Interested parties, such as importers of specialty heavy steel plate or stainless steel wire products that are not produced in Canada, may complete exclusion request forms that must be filed with the Tribunal no later than 31st January 2020. The Tribunal’s online Guideline to Making Requests for Product Exclusions should be consulted for more information on completing a form.
Responses from parties who oppose exclusion requests (i.e., Canadian producers) must then be filed no later than 11th February 2020. The parties requesting exclusions then have an opportunity to file reply submissions to address any arguments or evidence filed against them, and this must be done no later than 18th February 2020. It is expected that the Tribunal’s decision and its report to the Department of Finance will be issued on or about 13th March 2020.