The Federal Court of Appeal in a win for Canadian steelmakers has rejected a challenge of anti-dumping duties by Asian exporters. The Court said Chinese-made steel pipe transshipped through other countries could not evade duties.
“The final determination is made in relation to goods of a certain country and not goods of a certain exporter,” wrote Justice Wyman Webb; “The term ‘exporter’ is not defined in the Special Import Measures Act.”
The Canadian International Trade Tribunal in 2016 cited Japanese traders for dumping steel originating from state-owned mills in China. The Tribunal argued it “was important to look behind the transactions to see who knowingly provided the goods in issue for export to Canada,” the Court noted.
“The goods were dumped during the period under review, and the margin of dumping for the same period was not insignificant,” wrote Justice Webb. The Canada Border Services Agency beginning in 2008 imposed anti-dumping duties of up to 396 percent on Chinese steel products as a threat to Canadian manufacturers.
The 2016 duties were unsuccessfully challenged by a coalition of Japanese exporters including Nippon Steel, JFE Steel, Sumitomo Metal Corp. and others. Local steelmakers that sought the anti-dumping duties included Evraz Inc., a steel pipe manufacturer with facilities in Regina, Red Deer and Camrose, Alta.
Evraz CEO Conrad Winkler in 2017 testimony at the Commons trade committee said price-cutting by Chinese mills had cost Canadian jobs. “Free trade must be fair,” said Winkler.
“China has heavily subsidized and overbuilt its steel industry,” said Winkler. “China has more than 60 percent of the global steel overcapacity, and exports more than ten times the soze of the Canadian market annually.”
“Evraz has suffered job losses due to dumped and subsidized Chinese steel,” said Winkler; “We have to be at the top of our game every day to make a very small margin.”
The Court of Appeal decision follows an earlier ruling by the Trade Tribunal that cited South Korean shippers for price-cutting on steel pipe. Korean imports to Canada increased 580 percent in a single year, 2016, after regulators cited Chinese steel mills for similar unfair trade practices.
Canada has run a trade deficit in steel since 1996. National steel output as a portion of world production has fallen by half in the past 20 years.The Tribunal found the flood of Asian imports triggered a 22 percent price drop in steel product.