In the beginning of 2018, the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (“CADE”) requested to play an advisory role in the meetings of the Brazilian Chamber of Foreign Trade (“CAMEX”). CAMEX acts in trade defense cases and is responsible for applying antidumping, countervailing and safeguard measures. CAMEX may also suspend such measures for reasons of public interest, when applicable.

The request by CADE to participate in CAMEX meetings is based mainly on the evaluation process of such public interest, as competition is one of the factors analyzed in this process. So far, the Secretariat for the Promotion and Productivity of Competition, jointly part of the Brazilian Competition Defense System with CADE, is already participating in such meetings and has even issued opinions in some cases.

This topic has been growing in importance in the face of CAMEX’s decision issued on July 13, 2018, to suspend the antidumping duty on course salt imported from Chile. This decision followed shortly after CADE´s ruling to condemn a number of companies involved in the so-called “sea-salt cartel” in May 2018. This case is a good example of collaboration between competition law and international trade practices.

Against this backdrop, a decree regulating the participation of CADE in CAMEX’s meetings is expected to be issued soon.