Report of the committee
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
The Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade has the honour to table its
Your committee, which was authorized to examine the subject matter of those elements contained in Division 8 of Part 6 of Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures, has, in obedience to the order of reference of Tuesday, April 24, 2018, examined the said subject matter and now reports as follows:
On May 9 and 10, 2018, your committee received testimony from officials from the Department of Finance Canada, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) as well as representatives of stakeholder communities on the subject matter of Division 8 of Part 6 of Bill C-74, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures (thereafter “Division 8 of Part 6 of Bill C-74”). Division 8 of Part 6 concerns the CITT, an independent quasi-judicial body of Canada’s trade remedy system that conducts inquiries and hears appeals on various aspects of trade policy, including investigations relating to anti-dumping and countervailing duties.
Your committee notes that Division 8 of Part 6 would amend the Canadian International Trade Tribunal Act (CITT Act), which established the CITT, by changing the Tribunal’s composition. At present, the CITT comprises up to seven full-time permanent members, including a Chairperson, all of whom are appointed by the Governor-in-Council.
In effect, Division 8 of Part 6 changes the CITT Act by creating the position of Vice-Chairperson from among the Tribunal’s permanent members. It also provides for the interim replacement of the CITT’s Chairperson and/or Vice-Chairperson. As well, to clarify the terms of eligibility for the re-appointment of permanent members, Division 8 or Part 6 adds a reference to a former permanent member of the CITT in order that either a permanent or a former permanent member can be reappointed as a permanent member for an additional five-year term.
During its hearing, your committee was informed that the changes to the CITT Act are intended to provide greater clarity, flexibility and efficiency in the appointment of CITT members. Two witnesses representing stakeholder communities testified that they support the proposed amendments to the CITT Act as outlined in Division 8 of Part 6 of Bill C-74. In addition, while not part of the committee’s consideration of those elements contained in Bill C-74, these two witnesses noted for future reference that Canada needs to continue to improve its trade remedy system, drawing attention in particular to the interests of stakeholders relating to increased accountability and transparency.
Your committee has no objections to the changes proposed in Division 8 of Part 6 of Bill C-74.
A. RAYNELL ANDREYCHUK