Possible Canadian Safeguard Action Against Steel Imports: Steel Importers, Distributors Consumers and End-Users Should Take Action

Posted by on Aug 16, 2018

Canadian firms that import, distribute, or use steel and Canadian consumers who buy products that contain steel should pay close attention to the Government of Canada’s announcement that it is considering safeguard action, including the possibility of provisional safeguards, against imports of steel plate, concrete reinforcing bar, energy tubular products, hot-rolled sheet, pre-painted steel, stainless steel wire, and wire rod imported from all countries.  In most cases, if safeguard measures are adopted, duties or...

read more

Negotiation, Not Litigation is the Way to NAFTA Modernization

Posted by on Jul 30, 2018

Rather than just negotiate NAFTA modernization, the United States is trying to use additional illegal tariffs on steel and aluminum, and now WTO litigation, to force Canada to accept its NAFTA position.  The additional tariffs on Canadian aluminum and steel are illegal because they exceed the U.S. WTO and NAFTA bound duty rates (i.e., the highest duty agreed between the Parties) and, thus, violate those Agreements. Canada retaliated against these U.S. tariffs with its...

read more

Steel, Aluminum, and the WTO’s Pandora’s Box – Part IV – More Analysis at Slaw.ca

Posted by on Jul 3, 2018

The Government of Canada has finalized its countermeasures in response to U.S. Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum products: https://www.fin.gc.ca/access/tt-it/cacsap-cmpcaa-1-eng.asp https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/cn-ad/cn18-08-eng.html https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/dm-md/d16/d16-1-1-eng.html Canada also announced support measures for the industries affected by the U.S. tariffs: https://www.canada.ca/en/global-affairs/news/2018/06/support-for-canadian-steel-and-aluminum-workers-and-industry.html In the next few weeks, Michael Woods will be writing a series on the current state of Canada –U.S. trade on Canada’s online legal magazine Slaw.ca. Founded in 2005, Slaw is Canada’s largest co-operative legal publication attracting...

read more

Michael Woods Re-elected to FITT Board

Posted by on Jul 2, 2018

On June 28th the Forum for International Trade Training (FITT) confirmed that Michael Woods has been re-elected to serve a fourth term on the organization’s Board. FITT is a Canada based not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing international business training, resources and professional certification to individuals and businesses. It offers the only international business training programs and related professional designation (CITP/FIBP) endorsed by the World Trade Centers Association and the Government of Canada.  Michael is...

read more

The Trade Law Division’s 25th Anniversary – Canada’s Public Service Excellence

Posted by on Jul 2, 2018

Both Gord LaFortune and Michael Woods had an opportunity to celebrate their trade law roots with over 150 old colleagues and a new generation trade lawyers as the Government of Canada’s Trade Law Davison celebrates its 25th anniversary on June 22, 2018. In 1993 the Department of External Affairs and International Trade (now Global Affairs Canada) and the Department of Justice (now Justice Canada) created the joint unit made up of lawyers from both...

read more

I’d Cut Down Every Law in England… !

Posted by on Jun 1, 2018

It is almost that time of the year of for newly minted law graduates.  There are days when I reflect on the growth of the rule of law in the international context and its importance for order and justice in the world. This included international trade law.  But as we know the rule of law in this context remains vulnerable to local views and narrow national self-interest.   When I was called to the bar...

read more

Steel, Aluminum, and the WTO’s Pandora’s Box – Part III

Posted by on Jun 1, 2018

On May 31, 2018 the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross announced that the section 232 tariff on steel and the 10% tariff on aluminum would go into effect June 1st with respect to imports from Canada, the EU, and Mexico. All three had been give exceptions following the March  8th decision by the U.S. president to impose these measures pursuant to section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act 1962 on the basis of...

read more

Steel, Aluminum, and the WTO’s Pandora’s Box – Part II

Posted by on Mar 12, 2018

On Thursday March 8th, President Trump followed through on his threat to impose tariffs on all of steel (25%) and aluminum (10%) on a global basis. The Proclamations on the two products are notable in that it aims to link the tariffs to the national security of the United States.  “The persistent threat of further closures of domestic steel production facilities and the “shrinking [of our] ability to meet national security production requirements in...

read more

Steel, Aluminum, and the WTO’s Pandora’s Box of National Security – Part I

Posted by on Mar 9, 2018

President Trump has followed through on his promise to impose significant tariffs on imports of steel (25%) and aluminum (10%).  Canada and Mexico were exempted in the context of the ongoing tri-lateral negotiations.  As the President put it; “… we’re going to hold off to see “see whether or not we’re making a deal on NAFTA.”  The threat of this action and then announcement that the duties will go into force within the next...

read more

GATT Article XXI’s National Security Exception – The Ultimate Trade Policy Conundrum

Posted by on Mar 9, 2018

[Originally published 4/9/ 2015. Updated: 3/9/2018.] Is it a necessary “safety valve” or the “ultimate threat” that could reverse and unwind the sometimes slow, but relatively constant progress in global trade liberalization?   When old friend and former Foreign Service colleague, Michael Virr, invited Catherine Walsh and me to discuss trade law with his Algonquin College (Ottawa) class, the topic was the GATT national security exception, which according to some, represents “the broadest and most...

read more