New safeguard measures legislation recently cleared the House of Commons and the Senate, and received Royal Assent on June 21, 2019. The enactment, which is titled An Act to amend the Customs Tariff and the Canadian International Trade Tribunal Act , enhances Canada’s authority to implement safeguard measures in order to limit import surges. It repeals subsections 55(5) and (6) of Canada’s Customs Tariff, S.C. 1997, c. 36, provides for their subsequent re-enactment two years later, and makes consequential amendments to the Canadian International Trade Tribunal Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. 47 (4th Supp.). The provisions in the enactment lift a two-year moratorium on the imposition of safeguard measures on imports that have previously been subject to safeguard measures.
This enactment follows a recent decision of the Trump Administration to lift US tariffs on steel and aluminum goods originating from Canada, pursuant to section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, 19 U.S.C. 1862. It supports an enhanced border control strategy announced by Prime Minister Trudeau on March 27, 2018 which was designed to prevent the transshipment and diversion of subsidized steel and aluminum into the US. At that time the Prime Minister stated that Canada will be engaged in a continuous process of making its trade remedy investigations and enforcement more robust, responsive and timely.