Trade Clippings October 2020

  • November 06, 2020

Dear Members of the CBA International Law Section, here are the international trade and investment articles and publications of interest for the month of October 2020.This month’s edition has been prepared by Ewa Gosal. Ewa is the Secretary of the Section Executive.


Election 2020: For Canada, stakes go beyond trade Freight Waves (October 30, 2020)

Despite starkly different approaches to international trade and foreign relations, the implications of a Biden administration or four more years of Trump may not be as significant for Canada.

“They are both pretty protectionist, so I don’t think it’s going to make a big difference for Canada there,” Barry Prentice, a professor of supply chain management at the University of Manitoba, said, noting said, noting that the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) ultimately provides the basis for how the U.S. and Canada trade with each other.

But looking beyond trade policy, Prentice said the election outcome could affect Canada and its Canada transportation and logistics sector in terms of how the next president and Congress handle the recovery from COVID-19.

Early U.K.-Canada trade deal prospects not looking good The Western Producer (October 29, 2020)

The United Kingdom was no longer be included in Canada’s Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union as of January 1, 2020, and the two countries have been hoping to reach their own deal.

While the U.K. says trade talks with Canada have begun, opposition MPs like Gray contend Ng and the Liberal government are not transparent about the status of negotiations.

Earlier this year, the governing Liberals agreed to inform parliamentarians of any negotiations it enters into within 90 days, but by mid-October, no notification had been made.

Moon requests Canada's backing for S. Korea in WTO chief race The Korea Herald (October 27, 2020)

President Moon Jae-in had spoke with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday as part of efforts to broaden international support for South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee's candidacy to lead the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Late PCT national phase entry in Canada as of right will soon come to an end International Law Office (October 26, 2020)

Substantial amendments to the Patent Act and new Patent Rules came into force on 30 October 2019 (for further details please see "Detailed overview of deadlines and requirements under new Patent Rules" and "New Patent Rules in force").

A significant change concerns the deadline for entering the Canadian national phase of a Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) application. Historically, a PCT application could enter the Canadian national phase up to 42 months from the earliest priority date as a matter of right, provided that a C$200 late fee was paid if national phase entry occurred more than 30 months from the earliest priority date.

Landmark settlement is a message to Canadian companies extracting resources overseas: Amnesty International CBC (October 23, 2020)

A human rights lawsuit alleging slavery and torture has been settled outside of court with a Canadian mining company for an undisclosed amount, according to Amnesty International.

In February 2020 the Supreme Court of Canada ruled the case could be heard in B.C. despite the fact it involved events in Africa.

The terms of the settlement remain confidential but human rights advocates say the outcome of this legal proceeding will resonate.

U.S. encourages Canada to hit China with sanctions over Uyghurs The Globe and Mail (October 22, 2020)

The Trump administration is lauding Canadian MPs for condemning China’s brutal persecution of largely Muslim minorities as "genocide,” and is encouraging Ottawa to join Washington in imposing sanctions on Chinese officials responsible for the repression.

Dairy farmers demand compensation amid pandemic, citing new losses due to CUSMA The Canadian Press (October 20, 2020)

Canadian dairy farmers are demanding compensation from the Canadian government because of losses to their industry they say have been caused by a series of international trade deals.

Canada may not slap anti-dumping taxes on Vietnamese corrosion-resistant steel VN Explorer (October 20, 2020)

The Canada Border Services Agency on October 16 made a final decision on the anti-dumping and countervailing investigation of certain corrosion-resistant steel (COR) sheets imported from several countries, including Vietnam.

The Canadian International Trade Tribunal is continuing its inquiry into the question of injury to the domestic industry, and will make a finding on November 16. If there is no injury or threat of injury established, Canada will not levy anti-dumping tariffs on Vietnamese COR steel, among other countries

Environmental impacts of free trade deal with Brazil ignored by review, advocates say Yorkton This Week (October 19, 2020)

A federal environmental assessment of a proposed trade deal between Canada and the Mercosur countries ignores major environmental and human rights violations in Brazil, environmental advocates say.

The assessment, which was released last week, is a standard part of trade deal negotiations meant to flag any proposed environmental issues that could arise from increased trade. Focused largely on potential impacts in Canada, it makes scant mention of devastating deforestation and fires in the Brazilian Amazon driven by cattle ranching and soy production.

Canada Casts a Wider Sanctions Net Over Belarus McCarthy Tetrault (October 19, 2020)

Earlier this month, Canada and the United Kingdom had announced the coordinated implementation of a first set of targeted sanctions against Belarus, imposed in response to what Canada has called “gross and systemic human rights violations” committed by the government of Belarus.

The Regulations create what is commonly referred to as an “asset freeze” by prohibiting any person in Canada, and any Canadian outside of Canada, from “dealing in” any property owned, held or controlled by, or providing any financial or related services to or for the benefit of, persons listed in the Schedule to the Regulations. Canadians are also prohibited from making “any goods available” to a listed person, or to a person acting on behalf of a listed person. In related regulatory action, those same individuals are also inadmissible to Canada under our immigration and refugee laws

Turks accuse Canada of ‘double standard’ in freezing military exports to Turkey but not Saudi Arabia The Globe and Mail (October 6, 2020)

The Turkish government is accusing Canada of practicing “double standard” in freezing exports of military-grade target acquisition gear to the Turks while continuing to allow shipments of defence equipment to Saudi Arabia.

Ankara is also alleging that Canada is failing in its duty to help a fellow member of the NATO military alliance.

Turkey was responding to the Canadian government’s announcement that it was suspending permits enabling the export of made-in-Canada targeting and imaging systems that is at the centre of allegations that Azerbaijan is using Turkish-made drones to attack Armenia.

Blueberries could be next in line for U.S. tariffs The Star (October 6, 2020)

Last month, the U.S. Department of Commerce requested the country’s International Trade Commission investigate whether imported blueberries are seriously harming American producers. It’s an unprecedented move that could hit B.C. hard: blueberries are B.C.’s third-largest export and close to 95 per cent of them are sold in the U.S.

NFI’s Robert DeHaan Testifies Before U.S. International Trade Commission Perishable News (October 2, 2020)

The U.S. International Trade Commission is examining the effect of a lobster trade agreement, between Canada and the European Union, on America’s lobster industry.

Noting that, “U.S. lobster exporters suffered an immediate and continuing loss of business starting over three years ago” from the Canada deal, DeHaan implored trade officials to push EU member countries to adopt a new U.S. - EU bilateral accord, announced in August 2020, to eliminate tariffs on lobster products, diminishing the impact of the Canadian pact.

How the U.S. presidential election outcome could shape the future of Canadian trade BNN Bloomberg (October 2, 2020)

Canada’s relationship with its largest trading partner has never been perfect, but the result of November’s U.S. presidential election may bring new challenges.

The next president of the United States could hold two high-stakes cards for the future of Canadian trade. One will be in his approach to protectionism, while the other will depend on his handling of America’s relations with China, according to some experts.

Press Releases

Lupaka submits arbitration request against Peru Stock Watch (October 29, 2020)

Lupaka Gold Corp. has completed the next step in its international arbitration claim against the Republic of Peru. The company has now submitted a request for arbitration in accordance with Article 36 of the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States and Article 824 of the free-trade agreement between Canada and the Republic of Peru.

The dispute stems from the Republic of Peru's actions, namely the illegal acts of its subdivision, the Community of Paran, which illegally invaded Lupaka's project held through Invicta Mining Corp.  and set up a permanent blockade to the site, as well as from the lack of support from the Peruvian police force, prosecutors and central government officials to remove the illegal blockade and restore Lupaka's rights to its investment.

Tribunal Initiates Final Injury Inquiry — Decorative and Other Non-Structural Plywood from China Canadian International Trade Tribunal (October 26, 2020)

The Canadian International Trade Tribunal initiated a final injury  inquiry to determine whether the dumping and subsidizing of decorative and other non-structural plywood originating in or exported from the People’s Republic of China have caused injury or retardation or are threatening to cause injury.

On February 19, 2021, the Tribunal will determine whether the dumping and subsidizing have caused injury or retardation or are threatening to cause injury to the domestic industry.

WTO launches new import licensing platform WTO (October 9, 2020)

Four years of work by the WTO Secretariat bore fruit with the launch on 9 October 2020 of the new import licensing database. The new platform gathers together import licensing information, analysis and reporting and streamlines notification procedures for WTO members. At a meeting of the Committee on Import Licensing, members commended the work done by WTO staff to provide a one-stop shop for members and interested parties seeking to access information on import licensing procedures.

Opinions and Editorials

Opinion: Restoring order to global trade Goderich Signal Star (October 27, 2020)

The general problem is that the WTO rules drafted in 1947 are simply not up to the task in a world where so much has changed.

These shortcomings have been increasingly recognized by more committed WTO members. Canada has taken a leading role in gathering some of these like-minded countries together in the “Ottawa Group,” which seeks a road to pragmatic WTO reform — in the belief the agreement must be updated or face the possibility of tumbling into 21st-century irrelevance.

International Trade: Canada's Relationships With Its Key Trading Partners Bennett Jones (October 22, 2020)

Darrel Pearson hosted  a discussion with Valerie Hughes and John Weekes on Canada's trading relationship with the United States, how the CUSMA will affect Canadian businesses, trade and investment relations with China, Canada's unique position with its CPTPP and CETA partners, and the importance of the WTO to Canada.


How Businesses Can Risk Manage the USMCA: Anti-Corruption Bennett Jones (October 29, 2020)

How Businesses Can Risk Manage the USMCA: Labour Bennett Jones (October 28, 2020)

How Businesses Can Risk Manage the USMCA: Trade and Customs Bennett Jones (October 27, 2020)

A Primer on Canadian Sanctions Legislation - October 2020 Blakes (October 21, 2020)