Apr 3, 2019
A recent Law Times article discusses the report expected from the Canadian International Trade Tribunal on whether the federal government should impose final safeguards on steel. The report is due to the government on April 3, 2019. According to the article, the government will then decide if it will accept or reject the tribunal’s recommendations.
For insight into the implications of the report and imposing final safeguards on steel, author Meagan Gillmore turns to legal experts, including Riyaz Dattu, a partner in Osler’s International Trade and Investment Law Group.
The article reports that the tribunal could recommend that the government impose final safeguards. These could be in place for three years, Riyaz tells Law Times, who also adds that the final decision still rests with the government, and that the government has never imposed final safeguard measures.
“This is an extraordinary remedy with very high thresholds under the World Trade Organization rules for imposing safeguards. They are, in fact, emergency measures,” says Riaz.
The article points out that “[s]afeguard measures are unique because they are applied to imports that are fairly traded.” “There’s no allegation that products are unfairly traded,” states Riyaz. “Industry is simply asking for protection against fairly traded imports, and that’s why the threshold is high.”
Riyaz also tells Law Times that if the government chooses to impose safeguards, they could be challenged at the World Trade Organization and could damage Canada’s international reputation. They could “taint our reputation as a country that relies on the application of trade rules on a fair basis,” he says. It’s unlikely, then, that the government will choose that option, states Riyaz.
For more information, read Meagan Gillmore’s full article “Lawyers expect recommendations about steel safeguards” in Law Times.