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Woods, LaFortune LLP to Attend CETA Civil Society Forum

Posted by on Nov 6, 2019

Woods, LaFortune LLP has been invited  by the Trade Agreements Secretariat at Global Affairs Canada to participate in the Civil Society Forum on Trade and Sustainable Development under the Canada-European Union (EU) Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). Michael Woods will attend on behalf of the firm. The event is to take place in Ottawa on November 12, 2019. The Forum is facilitated jointly by the Government of Canada and the European Union and include representatives from employers, unions, labour and business organizations, environmental groups, Indigenous organizations, and other relevant civil society organizations, to exchange with one another, with members of the EU civil society, as well as officials of the Government of Canada and the European Commission, on matters related to the implementation of the CETA with regards to Trade and Sustainable Development, Trade and Labour and Trade and Environment. This will be  the second edition of the Forum – the first Civil Society Forum on Trade and Sustainable Development under CETA took place in September 2018, in Brussels,...

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Michael Woods to Speak at CANDO Annual Conference

Posted by on Sep 30, 2019

Michael Woods is scheduled to appear on an expert panel  at the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers (CANDO) Annual Conference in Gatineau Québec on October 30, 2019. CANDO is a Canadian Aboriginal-controlled, community-based, and membership driven organization focusing on education and professional development for economic development officers working in Aboriginal communities and organizations. Michael will be part of a panel examining “Economic Development Opportunities in Indigenous International Trade” and he will share his insights as a member if the Indigenous Working Group advising the Government of Canada with respect to the NAFTA re-negotiations and Canada’s ongoing negotiations of other modern trade agreements.  He will also discuss the concept of an Indigenous Chapter and the related elements found in the new Canada-US-Mexico Agreement. For more information on the conference session, see: ( http://www.edo.ca/conference/2019/conference-panels/indigenous-international-trade-panel ) For more details on the conference see: ( http://www.edo.ca/conference/2019...

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Michael Woods Speaks at IITIO Conference – “The Indigenous Chapter is Very Much Alive.”

Posted by on Jun 7, 2019

Michael Woods joined the head of the Government of Canada’s Trade Law Bureau, Robert Brookfield, Professor Lindsay Robertson of the University of Oklahoma and Professor James Hopkins of the University of Arizona  on a panel to discuss the Indigenous elements in the Canada United States Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) and the consultative process between the Government of Canada and Canada’s Indigenous communities during the NAFTA renegotiations which were launched in 2017.  This was the 7th International Inter-Tribal Trade and Investment Organization (IITIO) trade conference and it was held at the University of Oklahoma Faculty of Law.  Michael has served on IITIO’s executive since its founding in 2015 [https://iitio.org/ ] Michael and has colleagues on the panel discussed the details of the new agreement, “the threads of (Indigenous objectives) running through it,” as well as the future of inter- tribal trade. For more details see:...

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Canada Should Revisit Safeguard Measures on Stainless Steel Wire

Posted by on Jun 5, 2019

The Minister of Finance should reconsider the decision to impose safeguard measures on imports of stainless steel wire because the recent agreement between Canada and the U.S. to remove their respective duties on each other’s steel, calls into question the Canadian International Trade Tribunal’s (CITT) threat of injury finding against stainless steel wire imports which underpins the Minister’s decision. On May 10, 2019, the Minister imposed safeguard measures on imports of stainless steel wire from almost all sources.  The safeguard measures took the form of a tariff rate quota that set a limited volume of imported stainless steel wire that could enter Canada duty-free and a surtax on stainless steel wire entering Canada above that amount.  The Minister’s decision was based on the CITT’s finding that stainless steel wire imports threatened to cause serious injury to Canada’s domestic stainless steel wire producer. The Minister has the discretion to impose safeguard measures, but only if the CITT makes an injury or threat of injury finding and recommends that safeguard measures be taken at the conclusion of an investigation.  Without the CITT’s decision, the Minister cannot act.  Therefore, the Minister’s decision to impose safeguard measures is based on a CITT injury finding. In this case, the CITT found that imports of stainless steel wire threatened to cause injury to Canada’s domestic stainless steel wire producers; not that the domestic steel producers had actually been injured by imports.  This means that the CITT found that the evidence pointed to an imminent and foreseeable change in circumstances that would result in serious injury to the domestic producers unless safeguard measures were put in place.  In short, the CITT concluded that a change in circumstances making things worse for the domestic producer was likely.  However, the Canada – U.S. decision to eliminate their respective duties is the only significant change since the CITT issued its threat of injury finding and that change arguably benefits the Canadian producer. The decision to eliminate the U.S. 232 duties and Canada’s retaliatory duties played role in the CITT’s decision in the Steel Safeguard Case (Certain Steel Goods, CITT File Nbr GC-2018-001, April 3, 2019).  At page 116, the...

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Steel Safeguards: CITT Announces a Product Exclusion Process for Stainless Steel Wire and Heavy Plate

Posted by on May 17, 2019

On May 16, 2019, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) announced that it was initiating a Product Exclusion Review to determine whether any imports of stainless steel wire or heavy plate should be excluded from safeguard measures imposed on imports of these products. Although the CITT will only grant product exclusions in extraordinary circumstances, any interested party that imports or wants to import stainless steel wire or heavy plate into Canada from countries now subject to safeguard measures should consider the possibility of requesting a product exclusion to avoid those measures. On April 3, 2019, the CITT issued its Report in the Steel Safeguard Inquiry (CITT File Nbr. GC-2018-001). The CITT found that imports of stainless steel wire and heavy plate caused serious injury to domestic producers and recommended that the Minister of Finance impose safeguard measures on those goods. On May 9, 2019, the Minister of Finance imposed safeguard measures on those products imported from all countries except United States, Mexico, Chile, Israel, Korea, Colombia, Honduras, Panama, Peru and all countries benefitting from the General Preferential Tariff. The safeguard measures became effective on May 13, 2019 and will remain in effect until October 24, 2021.  During this period the safeguard measures will be phased out in three stages: May 13, 2019 to May 12, 2020 Heavy Plate 20% surtax on imports over 100,000 mt Stainless Steel Wire 25% surtax on imports of 2,800 mt May 13, 2020 to May 21, 2021 Heavy Plate 15% surtax on imports over 110,000 mt Stainless Steel Wire 15% surtax on imports of 3,080 mt May 13, 2021 to October 24, 2021 Heavy Plate 10% surtax on imports over 54,699 mt Stainless Steel Wire 5% surtax on imports of 1,532 mt Details of the safeguard measures on heavy plate and stainless steel wire, including the list of countries benefitting from GPT, are set out in the Order Amending the Order Imposing a Surtax on the Importation of Certain Steel Goods (Final Safeguards), which can be found at www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/cn-ad/cn19-08-eng.html. The CITT may recommend that the Minister issue product exclusions so that safeguard measures only apply to imported products that cause serious injury to domestic...

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Canada’s Announced Support for its Steel Producers will hurt Canadian Steel Importers, Manufacturers and End-Users

Posted by on May 10, 2019

Canadian steel importers, and manufacturers and end-users who use imported steel, will be affected by the Government’s latest moves to support Canada’s steel producers because the Government’s actions promise to restrict steel imports and to increase their cost to the detriment of importers, manufacturers and end-users. On April 3, 2019, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) concluded its safeguard inquiry into seven steel products, finding that imports of heavy plate and stainless steel wire caused serious injury to domestic producers while concrete reinforcing bar, energy tubular products, hot-rolled steel, pre-painted steel and wire rod did not.  Based on those findings, the CITT recommended that the Minister of Finance impose safeguard measures on imports of heavy plate and stainless steel wire, but declined to make any remedy recommendation for the other products.   After considering the CITT’s recommendation, the Minister took the only action legally available to him and withdrew provisional safeguard measures on concrete reinforcing bar, energy tubular products, hot-rolled steel, pre-painted steel and wire rod and only imposed ongoing safeguard measures on heavy plate and stainless steel wire. However, the Canadian Steel Producers’ Association (CSPA) was not happy with the CITT’s decision and came out swinging.  In the weeks leading up to the Minister’s decision, the CSPA lobbied the government to ignore the CITT’s decision and impose safeguard measures on the seven steel products considered in the CITT’s safeguard inquiry anyway.  The CSPA claimed that Canada’s steel producers had been seriously injured by imported of all these steel products and told the Minister that in light of the new reality of growing protectionism and U.S. duties on Canadian steel and aluminum, the Minister had the right to ignore the CITT and to impose surtaxes and import restrictions on all seven of the steel imports.  Thankfully, the Minister refused to follow their advice and violate Canadian law and international trade rules by imposing safeguard measures on steel imports that were found to have not seriously injured Canadian steel producers. However, the Minister has clearly decided to take steps to support Canadian steel producers and this includes making changes to Canada’s current anti-dumping system. First, in response to the five steel...

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