Trade Clippings - February 16 to February 22, 2015

  • February 23, 2015

Dear International Trade and Investment Committee Members, 

Here are the international trade and investment articles and publications of interest for the week of February 16 to February 22. Monica Podgorny has curated this week’s edition. Monica is a business and regulatory lawyer at McMillan LLP, practicing in the areas of international trade, competition and commercial law. She is also an Executive Director of the Organization of Women in International Trade.


Pulp and Paper Canada, “Forest industry welcomes trade action against China” (February 18, 2015)

  • The trade dispute with China over the country’s imposition of import duties on dissolving pulp moved ahead another step in early February, as the federal government requested a panel at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to resolve the issue.
  • The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) and two producers affected by the import duties, Tembec and Fortress, are supportive of the federal government’s trade action against China regarding duties on Canadian dissolving pulp.
  • China had imposed anti-dumping duties of up to 23.7% on Canadian dissolving pulp in 2013 saying the imports were negatively impacting China's domestic pulp market. The Chinese duties have resulted in significant loss of market for Canadian dissolving pulp producers and put a chill on future investment.

Better Farming, “Ritz predicts quick ending to South Korea stay of Canadian beef imports” (February 18, 2015)

  • Canada’s agriculture minister describes the move as a ‘temporary trade disruption’. South Korea’s decision to suspend quarantine inspections for Canadian beef imports following last week’s discovery of BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) in an Alberta cow comes within weeks for a new free trade agreement between the two countries. 

Madhavi Acharya-Tom Yew, “World Vision urges Cadbury to deliver an ethical Easter egg to Canada”, The Toronto Star (February 16, 2015) 

  • World Vision says it wants Cadbury to hop to it — and bring an ethical Easter egg to Canada. The international relief and development organization says that nearly 6,000 Canadians have signed its petition urging the chocolate maker to sell its fair trade Easter treat here. 
  • Canadian shoppers are becoming more aware of fair trade and ethically made products, particularly when it comes to coffee, tea and chocolate.

Khalil AlHajal, “Canada agrees to fund U.S. customs plaza for new Detroit-Windsor bridge”, MLive (February 18, 2015)

  • Canadians will pay for construction of a customs plaza on the U.S. side of a new Detroit-Windsor bridge under a deal that removes one of the final hurdles in the path of building the New International Trade Crossing, officials on either side of the border announced Wednesday.
  • “A new Windsor-Detroit crossing remains one of Canada's top infrastructure priorities for Canada,” said Canadian Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt in a statement announcing the agreement. 
  • “... It will facilitate the movement of people, goods and services by ensuring that there is sufficient border crossing capacity to handle projected growth in cross border trade and traffic in the Windsor-Detroit trade corridor. As well, it will provide a much-needed crossing alternative at one of the busiest commercial border crossings in North America and support national security and public safety priorities in Canada and the U.S. It will also bring new jobs, opportunities and continued prosperity to communities in both countries.”

Wine Searcher, “Canada's Growing Wine Thirst Could Help Trade Tiff” (February 20, 2015)

  • As Canada's wine market grows, Californian producers are trying to make sure they secure access. Canada's love of imported wine could hold the key to a fermenting dispute over liquor regulation in British Columbia.
  • A new Vinexpo report into wine consumption showed that demand for wine in Canada far outstrips what the local industry can provide and consumption is growing at twice the rate of the rest of the world. That's good news for California producers, who have cried foul over the British Columbia provincial government's plans to allow locally produced wines to be sold alongside food in grocery stores, while keeping imported wines separate.

Government Press Releases

Government of Canada, “Tribunal Initiates Expiry Review—Refined Sugar from the United States of America, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the European Union” (February 18, 2015)

  • “The Canadian International Trade Tribunal (the Tribunal) initiated an expiry review of its orders made on November 1, 2010, in Expiry Review No. RR-2009-003, to determine if the continued or resumed dumping and subsidizing of refined sugar from the United States of America, Denmark, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the European Union are likely to result in injury.”

DFATD, “Minister Fast Announces New Partnership with Association of Canadian Port Authorities” (February 20, 2015)

  • The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, and Wendy Zatylny, President of the Association of Canadian Port Authorities, today announced the establishment of a memorandum of understanding that will place a full-time Canadian trade commissioner with the Association of Canadian Port Authorities. The embedded trade commissioner will work out of the Halifax Port Authority in Nova Scotia.

Prime Minister's Office, “Accelerated capital cost allowance for liquefied natural gas” (February 19, 2015)

  • The extraction, sale and use of natural gas is an important part of Canada’s economy. Natural gas can be cooled to a liquid state (liquefied natural gas, known as LNG), thereby reducing its volume and facilitating its transportation and storage. The liquefaction of natural gas is a capital-intensive activity that requires large upfront investments. 
  • The Government proposes to provide accelerated CCA treatment for certain property acquired for use in facilities in Canada that liquefy natural gas:
    • to supply LNG to international markets;
    • to supply LNG to domestic markets (e.g., for use in remote power generation or the high-horsepower engines used in trucking, shipping, rail, drilling rigs, and pressure pumping services); or,
    • to store LNG in periods of low demand and then regasify it in periods of high demand (so-called “peak shaving”).

Prime Minister's Office, “Expanded sanctions list” (February 17, 2015) 

  • Canada imposed economic sanctions and travel bans against 11 Russian and 26 Ukrainian individuals, and economic sanctions against 2 Russian and 15 Ukrainian entities. 

Commentary and Editorials

The Globe and Mail, “SNC-Lavalin, bribery charges – and the risk of overreaching sanctions” (February 19, 2015)

  • SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. is at serious risk of being caught in a game of double jeopardy – first being prosecuted in the courts for deeds done abroad, as announced this week, and then facing the possibility of even more severe punishment from an inflexible, draconian federal government policy.
  • The charges of corruption against the company relate to allegations of bribery in Libya. Other charges, of fraud not against the company but against its former CEO, Pierre Duhaime, laid in 2013, which have not been proved in court, concern the McGill University Health Centre and the dubious Arthur Porter (now languishing in a jail in Panama). If and where there was wrongdoing, it will have to be addressed and accounted for. But a Ministry of Public Works and Government Services policy threatens to go far beyond that.

Matthew Fisher, “The Yanquis are coming’ and Cuba may never be the same for Canadians”, Ottawa Citizen (February 17, 2015)

  • While Canadian tourists worried about how this may be their last American-free winter in the glorious Cuban sunshine, Canadian businesses are equally at risk of being swept away soon by a torrent of U.S. capital.
  • Toronto-based Sherritt International Corp. has successful nickel mining, oil, gas and electric power generation operations in Cuba. But it is an exception. Relatively few Canadian businesses have taken advantage of Ottawa’s supposedly privileged diplomatic relations with Havana. There are several reasons. They include distaste for Cuba’s grim human rights record and fear doing business here might run afoul of the U.S. trade embargo.

James Gordon, “The future cost of Canada's oil overdependence”, Ottawa Citizen (February 17, 2015)

  • Last week, Apple announced that it had signed a deal with America’s biggest solar power producer to buy US$850 million worth of renewable energy over the next 20 years. It was the biggest solar play ever by a non-utility, but certainly not the first. Apple already had a solar presence, while companies like Google, Amazon and Microsoft have also made similar investments.