Trade Clippings February 2021

  • March 08, 2021

Dear Members of the CBA International Law Section,
Here are some international trade articles and publications of interest for the month of February 2021.This month’s edition has been prepared by Susana Lee (Susana May Yon Lee), who is the Communications Officer of the Section Executive and an International Trade Lawyer at Cassidy Levy Kent (Canada) LLP.


The WTO’s Historic New Leader, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (February 18, 2021)

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the first woman and first African, has been confirmed as the new director general of the World Trade Organization (WTO). A Harvard- and MIT-trained development economist, Okonjo-Iweala was a two-time finance minister of Nigeria and a former managing director at the World Bank. She brings vast experience in policy reforms and international economic relations to her new role at the WTO.

Shortage of Shipping Containers a Critical Concern, Carson International (February 17, 2021)

Shipping containers are hard to come by these days. Businesses that need them to transport goods across the globe are paying all-time high prices for them. Shortages in the context of a COVID-constrained economy are hard to understand. Caron International’s article addresses the questions of what is going on, and how Canadian exporters are affected.

Canadian International Merchandise Trade, Statistic Canada (December 2020)

In December, Canada's merchandise exports rose 1.5%, with energy product exports posting the largest increase. Imports fell 2.3%, mainly because of lower imports of consumer goods. As a result, Canada's merchandise trade deficit with the world narrowed from $3.6 billion in November to $1.7 billion in December, the lowest deficit since June 2020. For the year 2020, Canada's trade deficit totalled $36.2 billion, more than double the deficit observed in 2019. Total merchandise exports fell 12.3% in 2020, while imports were down 8.6%. By comparison, during the last major economic downturn, in 2009, annual merchandise exports dropped 24.6% and imports fell 15.7%.

Biden’s Trade Pick Says She’s Focused on Helping U.S. Workers, Holding back China, CTV News (February 26, 2021)

Senators embrace Katherine Tai's 'historic' confirmation, endorse strategy in the hearing on Thursday, February 25th. Two days after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Joe Biden met to set a new tone for Canada-U.S. relations, the Biden administration official whose decisions may affect Canada's economy the most sat for three hours of questioning at her confirmation hearing before the Senate finance committee Thursday.

The UK and Canada Impose additional Sanctions Against Myanmar Officials for Human Rights Violations, International Trade Compliance Update (February 18, 2021)

On February 18, 2021, the Government of Canada imposed sanctions against 9 Myanmar military officials, under the Special Economic Measures (Burma) Regulations (the Regulations). With the addition of these 9 individuals Canada now imposes sanctions against 54 individuals and 44 entities. The sanctions imposed by the Regulations include a prohibition on persons in Canada and Canadians outside of Canada from dealing in any property with listed individuals or providing financial or related services to them.

Press Releases and Government Notices

Certain Grinding Media, Canadian International Trade Tribunal (February 15, 2021)

The Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) conducted a preliminary injury inquiry in the dumping and subsidizing of certain grinding media from the Republic of India (PI-2020-006). On February 15, 2021, the CITT determined that the evidence discloses a reasonable indication that the dumping and subsidizing of these goods have caused injury or are threatening to cause injury to the domestic industry.

Welded Pipe, Canadian International Trade Tribunal (February 12, 2021)

The CITT gave notice on February 12, 2021 that it has initiated an interim review of its finding made on October 20, 2016, in Inquiry No. NQ-2016-001, concerning the dumping of welded large diameter carbon and alloy steel line pipe originating in or exported from the People’s Republic of China (China) and Japan, and the subsidizing of the above-mentioned goods originating in or exported from China (RD-2020-003).

Decorative and Other Non-Structural Plywood, Canadian International Trade Tribunal (February 19, 2021)

The CITT conducted an inquiry to determine whether the dumping and subsidizing of decorative and other non-structural plywood, originating in or exported from China, had caused injury or threatened to cause injury to the domestic industry. On February 19, 2021, the CITT determined that the dumping and subsidizing of these goods have not caused injury and are not threatening to cause injury to the domestic industry.

Concrete Reinforcing Bar, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), (February 4, 2021)

On February 4, 2021, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) made a preliminary determination of dumping respecting certain concrete reinforcing bar from Algeria, Egypt, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam. Provisional duties will now be payable on the subject goods from Algeria, Egypt, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam that are released from the CBSA on or after February 4, 2021.

Launch of the Food Labelling Coordination Policy Consultation, Government of Canada (February 2, 2021)

Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) have launched a 60-day online consultation, from February 2, 2021 to April 3, 2021, to gather input on the Draft Joint Policy Statement on Food Labelling Coordination. 

Certain Upholstered Domestic Seating, Canadian International Trade Tribunal (February 19, 2021)

The CITT conducted a preliminary injury inquiry in the dumping and subsidizing of certain upholstered domestic seating from the China and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (PI-2020-007). On February 19, 2021, the Tribunal determined that there is evidence that discloses a reasonable indication that the dumping and subsidizing of the subject goods have caused injury or are threatening to cause injury to the domestic industry, with Member Burn dissenting.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)’s Prohibition on the Importation and Exportation of Shark Fins, Canada Border Services Agency (February 9, 2021)

On February 9, 2021, the CBSA issued a Customs Notice (CN 21-02). The Customs Notice provides that effective June 21, 2019, shark fins that are not attached to a shark carcass are prohibited from being imported into or exported from Canada except in accordance with a permits issued by the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard authorizing the import or export.

Second Quarter Interest Rate 2021, Canada Border Services Agency (February 26, 2021)

In accordance with the CBSA Message (TCC21-025), the annual interest rate for the second quarter of 2021 (April 1st to June 30, 2021) will be 0.0662.

Amendments to the Departmental Consolidation of the Customs Tariff, Canada Border Services Agency (February 1, 2021)

On February 1, 2021, the CBSA issued a Customs Notice (CN 21-01) to advise of amendments made for the purpose of improving the clarity of Canada’s import monitoring regime with respect to steel products in the Departmental Consolidation of the Customs Tariff. All changes will be active in the Customs Commercial System (CCS) beginning February 4, 2021.

Importing Food into Canada with a Safe Food for Canadians Licence, Government of Canada (March 1, 2021)

The CFIA issued a notice advising that effective March 15, 2021 a valid Safe Good for Canadians Licence must be reported in the CBSA Integrated Import Declaration. Currently, importers of meat, fish, dairy, eggs, processed eggs, processed fruits or vegetables, honey, maple and fresh fruits or vegetables are required to hold a valid Safe Food for Canadians licence (SFC licence) to import food into Canada.

WCO issues a Secretariat Note on practical steps to facilitate and secure the cross-border movement of COVID-19 vaccines by Customs, World Customs Organizations (February 26, 2021)

On 25 February 2021 the WCO Secretariat published a new Secretariat Note providing guidance with regard to the implementation by Members of the twelve measures outlined in the December 2020 Council Resolution on the Role of Customs in facilitating the cross-border movement of situationally-critical medicines and vaccines. The Secretariat Note also provides information on WCO instruments and tools that can support the implementation of the Resolution and contains examples of Members’ practices in that regard.

Opinions & Editorials

Former Australian PM on dealing with China, and how the U.S. could help free two detained Canadians, CTV New (February 13, 2021)

In an interview with CTV’s Question Period, Kevin Rudd, former Australian Prime Minister, says Liberal democracies need to work together when China takes action in a “punitive nature outside the rules of, let’s call it, international trade law.”

Opinion: COVID's Hit on Canadian Trade, Eugene Beaulieu and Dylan Klemen, Financial Post (February 18, 2021)

COVID-19 has had profound implications for international trade. The pandemic led to a marked decline in the demand for traded goods, largely due to unemployment and decreased travel. Supply chains have been disrupted, various means of trade have been hit hard, and some governments have responded with protectionist measures. From January to November 2020, total Canadian goods trade was almost 12 per cent lower than during the same period in 2019.