Friday, July 30, 2010

The Weekly Scope: Technical Bulletins from GHY at a Glance

An updated list of recently published government memorandums, notices, regulations and decisions for the week ending July 30, 2010 is now available on our website here.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Renewable Energy Trade Mission to Australia in September

(Canada-Asia News)

The Consulate General of Canada in Sydney is inviting Canadian companies to join a trade mission to the EcoGen Conference and Exhibition 2010, Australia’s business-to-business event for the clean energy industry. EcoGen, taking place in Sydney from September 5-10, will feature an exhibition that includes the latest clean energy solutions. Over 700 clean energy decision makers will attend the conference and exhibition. Canadian trade commissioners will also organize individual programs for participants that will consist of one-on-one meetings in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Find out more information here.

U.S. Business Group Cries Foul over China Technology Push

(Industry Week – Agence France-Presse)

Calls China’s plan a ‘blueprint for technology theft’

China’s drive to develop homegrown technology was “anti-foreign and regressive” and would continue to fuel trade disputes with Washington, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said on July 28. The report said China was abusing the allure of its vast market to push foreign companies to transfer their latest technologies to Chinese competitors. This was a “blueprint for technology theft on a scale the world has never seen before,” it said.

The report is the latest in a growing chorus of complaints by foreign businesses and governments over perceived unfair policies and market restrictions in the world’s third-largest economy.

“Indigenous innovation is a massive and complicated plan to turn the Chinese economy into a technology powerhouse by 2020 and a global leader by 2050,” said the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, one of the biggest business groups in the world. “What is worrisome for the business community is that these indigenous innovation industrial policies are headed towards triggering contentious trade disputes and inflamed political rhetoric on both sides.” Read more here.

Meat Import Control and Data Information Centre Relocation


Notice to Importers, Customs Brokers, Inspection Establishment Operators, Carriers, and Associations

Please forward this communiqué to staff and clients involved in importing meat from the USA.

The following is to inform you that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) Meat Import Control and Data Information Centre (MICDIC) is moving on Saturday July 31st and Sunday August 1st. Service is expected to resume as scheduled on Monday, August 2, 2010.

MICDIC provides meat pre-clearance for U.S. origin meat. The Centre is the contact to obtain the inspection notice for U.S. meat after the load enters Canada. The contact information will remain the same:

1. Pre-Clearance (certificate verification) of U.S. certificates for meat and poultry products Certificates: Phone: 613-228-6118 (Hotline) Facsimile: 613-228-6623

2. Enquiries regarding Import Inspection Reports IIR (a.k.a. Multi-Commodity Activities Program – MCAP) for U.S. meat shipments: Toll Free: 1-877-682-5191

3. Email:

4. Mailing address:
Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Import Control Division
59 Camelot Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0Y9 Canada

Govt Unveils Stiff Rules for Telecom Equipment Imports

(Economic Times)

The government on Wednesday laid down stringent norms for telcos sourcing equipment from foreign manufacturers to address security concerns over gear. Penalties of 100% of the contract value will be imposed on mobile phone operators if any spyware or malware is found in their imported equipment, the Centre announced.

International telecom gear makers keen to do business in India will have to deposit source codes and detailed design of all products and services they sell here into an escrow account in encrypted form. This can be accessed by security agencies and operators in case of an emergency.

The new rules will be incorporated into the licence agreements of all telecom companies with immediate effect. The new norms were issued after security agencies and the home ministry had raised concerns regarding imported telecom gear, especially those sourced from Chinese companies.

Since February 10, the government has not cleared over 450 equipment orders worth close to $3 billion placed with Chinese vendors citing security concerns, slowing down the expansion plans of all operators. The new norms will also enable telcos to place orders for 3G networks following the recent allocation of 3G bandwidth to successful bidders via an auction process. Read more here.

May NAFTA Trade Posts Record Gain from Previous Year

(The Trucker – Kevin Jones)

Trade using surface transportation between the United States and its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico was 39.5% higher in May 2010 than in May 2009, reaching $66.8 billion, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) of the U.S. Department of Transportation. The 39.5% increase was the largest percentage year-over-year increase in total U.S.-NAFTA surface trade on record, going back to April 1994. May was the third month in the last four with a record percentage year-over-year increase.

However, the value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico in May 2010 remained 9.9% below the May 2008 level despite the 2009-2010 increase, BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported.

North American surface freight value rose 1.5% in May 2010 from April 2010. Month-to-month changes can be affected by seasonal variations and other factors, BTS noted. Read more here.

CRTC to Introduce 10-digit Local Dialing and a New Area Code to Manitoba


The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today announced that effective October 20, 2012, 10-digit local dialing will be required for all local calls made in Manitoba. The CRTC also announced that a new area code, 431, would be introduced effective November 3, 2012.

The transition to 10-digit dialing will begin on July 29, 2012, and will be gradually introduced over the following weeks. It will become mandatory by October 20, 2012.

At the same time, in order to prevent running out of telephone numbers in Manitoba, the CRTC is introducing a new area code, 431 as of November 3, 2012. This means that customers seeking new telephone numbers could be given a number starting with area code 431. Existing customers will keep their current area code and phone numbers.

Canadian Trade Missions Ineffective: Study

(Tim Kiladze — Globe & Mail)

Report contradicts other countries’ analyses of impact on trade

Canadian trade missions designed to bolster business relationships and increase bilateral trade don’t do their job, according to a new report by the University of British Columbia.

The study, the first of its kind in Canada, contradicts other countries’ analyses. Two of those reports found that short international visits by French, American and German heads of state increased exports by 6 to 10 per cent, as did setting up the first consulate in a new country.

Canada’s highly publicized trips don’t appear to have the same effect. “If following the mission there’s no increase in trade, how can we say there are any benefits?” asked Keith Head, professor at UBC’s Sauder School of Business, who co-chaired the study with John Ries. Read more here.

Ambassador Bridge Cleared for New Customs Plaza

(Brent Jang — Globe & Mail)

Canadian Border Authority Grants Approval for Facility in Windsor, But Hurdles Remain

The Canada Border Services Agency has approved plans by the Ambassador Bridge for a new customs plaza in Windsor, Ont., even though the move helps a Michigan billionaire who is embroiled in fierce fight against the Canadian government.

Manuel (Matty) Moroun, who wants to build a new crossing next to his 80-year-old Ambassador Bridge over the Detroit River, has satisfied the CBSA that he has the land amassed to allow Canadian customs officers to carry out their duties, according to a 35-page report commissioned by the federal agency.

Mr. Moroun had “submitted an environmental impact statement in December, 2007, proposing a new six-lane replacement bridge immediately adjacent to the west of the Ambassador Bridge,” said the report by consulting firm Arup Canada Inc. But Ottawa required that Mr. Moroun first gain CBSA approval before Transport Canada would review any environmental assessment. Read more here.

Related: Windsor council sued by Ambassador Bridge (Windsor Star)

What We're Doing to Secure the Border

(Alan D. Bersin/John Morton — Wall Street Journal)

Last year, illegal crossings in the Southwest were down 23%, to a fraction of their all-time high

Yesterday, after months of heated rhetoric and debate about Arizona's controversial new immigration law, federal Judge Susan Bolton blocked most of SB 1070 from taking effect. The move served as an important affirmation of the federal government's responsibility in enforcing our nation's immigration laws. But regardless of what happened with this case, this administration will continue to enforce the law, just as we have been doing for the past 18 months: with unprecedented resources and a clear commitment to serious, smart and effective enforcement that has yielded important results.

We are career prosecutors who lead the two main border and immigration enforcement agencies in the United States—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). We know the paramount importance of enforcing the law and we understand the federal government's responsibilities. And what we have seen on the border, at workplaces, and in communities across America in the past 18 months represents the most serious approach to enforcement we have witnessed in our careers.

Read the complete editorial here.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

EU Considers Big Tariff Cuts to Help Manufacturers

(Juliane von Reppert-Bismarck — Reuters)

European Union countries are in a deepening dispute over an Italian proposal to temporarily drop import tariffs on dozens of raw industrial goods, a move supposed to help EU manufacturers weather the economic crisis. The Italian proposal was put to the European Commission, the EU's executive, several months ago, prompting the Commission to ask other EU member states for their input.

As a result, the Commission has now compiled a list of 92 products from which tariffs could be cut, sparking a row between member states who support the move and those who say doing so would damage their own manufacturing industries.

The Commission's list, seen by Reuters, covers products in the steel, cosmetics, shoemaking, textile, furniture and car-manufacturing industries, among others. Read more

Senate Bill Calls for National Freight Policy

( – William B. Cassidy)

A national multimodal freight transportation plan is the goal of a bill introduced in the U.S. Senate.Three Democratic senators are sponsoring legislation that would require the federal government to stake out a national policy for freight movement, encouraging multimodal transportation.

The bill hits Capitol Hill as the Obama administration prepares its principles for a long-term reauthorization of the surface transportation bill and Congress remains deadlocked over infrastructure funding.

A national freight transportation policy “that will meet the economic and mobility needs of the 21st century” is long overdue, said Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J., one of the bill’s sponsors. Read more

NRC Amends Regulations on Imports and Exports of Nuclear Equipment and Material

(World Trade Interactive)

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued a final rule that, effective Aug. 27, will make various amendments to its regulations that govern the export and import of nuclear equipment, material and radioactive waste.

One of the primary changes in this final rule is to allow International Atomic Energy Agency Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources Category 1 and 2 quantities of radioactive materials to be imported under a general license instead of a specific license. The NRC is taking this action in light of the many security enhancements it has made to its domestic regulatory framework in recent years. Read more here.

Canadian Government Undertaking Industry Consultations on Cryptography Export Permit Process

(Mondaq – John Boscariol, McCarthy Tétrault)

The Export Controls Division of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (ECD) has launched another consultation with industry regarding the control of encryption goods and technology for export or transfer from Canada. This comes on the heels of earlier consultations on the mass market exemption launched in March of this year and further described at Canadian Government Launches Consultations on Encryption Controls (March 2010).

Canada, as a Participating State of the Wassenaar Arrangement, controls cryptography under Category 5, Group 1 of its Export Control List. The threshold for control is relatively low — e.g., cryptography having a symmetric algorithm employing a key length exceeding 56 bits. Those seeking to export or transfer from Canada covered goods, software and related technology employing cryptography must apply for and obtain a permit for destinations other than the United States. Read more here.

Webinar: “Isn’t a Part of a Part Still a Part?!” The Challenges of Classifying Parts and Accessories under the HTSUS – August 17

(STR Trade News)

Webinar – Ref#1114
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
1:00pm - 2:00pm EST

When it comes to classifying goods as "parts" or "parts and accessories," it's not enough to know the General Rules of Interpretation. Importers are expected to weave through a web of court decisions (among them the recent decision by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Honda of America Mfg. Inc. v. U.S. finding that oil bolts having a specific function are still considered "parts of general use") and Customs rulings, many of which seem to be conflicting, in order to determine whether their component is classified as a part, an accessory, by its constituent material, or as something else.

This webinar will provide user-friendly rules and reference tools on the following topics to help you weave through that classification web, and will include interactive Q&A:

• "Parts" and "Accessories" Definitions and Distinctions
• Applying Additional US Rule 1(c)
• Common "Parts and Accessories" Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them
• Quick Reference Guide to Classifying Parts, Accessories, and Everything Else

This webinar will be presented by Deborah B. Stern, Esq., who advises domestic and multinational clients on both U.S. and foreign customs compliance and other trade matters. Ms. Stern concentrates her practice in traditional customs areas, such as tariff classification, seizures and penalties, country of origin, valuation, trademark infringement, broker compliance, and preferential duty programs. Formerly an attorney with US Customs and Border Protection, she authored numerous classification rulings and served as delegate to the World Customs Organization's Harmonized System Committee, where she was involved with international classification disputes and amendments to the international tariff system. With special emphasis in the high-tech sector, she has substantial experience in almost every product area of the tariff schedule.

Cost: $75.00

PayPal is one of our offered credit card options. We also offer direct payment via credit card. Please be sure to have your full billing address or your card will be declined.

Payment or payment information must be received prior to the webinar in order to receive login details.

Register online at STR Trade here.

New Evidence That U.S. Box Scanning Plan Won’t Work

(Lloyd’s List – Roger Hailey)

A U.S. senate committee has heard expert testimony on the technical, logistical and financial obstacles confronting Washington’s policy to implement 100% scanning of maritime containers at foreign ports by the delayed deadline of 2014.

The senate committee on commerce, science and transportation was told that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would need “significant resources for greater manpower and technology – technologies that do not currently exist – and the redesign of many ports”.

That was the message from US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) commissioner Alan Bersin in written testimony to the committee. “Many ports simply do not have one area through which all the cargo passes. There are multiple points of entry and cargo is transhipped – meaning it is moved immediately from vessel to vessel within the port. These ports are not configured to put in place detection equipment or to provide space for secondary inspections. At these ports, scanning 100% of cargo with current systems is unworkable without seriously hindering the flow of shipments or redesigning the ports themselves, which would require huge capital investment,” he said. Read more

Experts Predict Passage of the Foreign Manufacturers Legal Accountability Act of 2010 : What Does This Law Mean to U.S. Importers and Exporters?

(Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP)

One of the more controversial bills brewing in Congress is the Foreign Manufacturers Legal Accountability Act of 2010. Although a variation of this bill was introduced in the Senate Finance Committee last year, it received little attention. Just last month, however, a House version of the bill passed the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection, and many trade experts are now predicting that the bill will pass.

The Act was developed in response to reports of defective Chinese drywall that damaged houses and sickened people, and the uproar that resulted upon finding that the Chinese manufacturers could not be held accountable under U.S. law for the defective products. It would require foreign manufacturers of “covered products” to designate a registered U.S. agent to receive service of process on behalf of the company. This, in essence, would allow foreign manufacturers to be sued in the United States for any civil action related to those covered products. The law would also prohibit any person from importing covered products from manufacturers who do not have registered agents in the United States.

The products that would be covered under the act consist of those that are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This includes – among other goods – consumer products, chemical substances, pesticides, cosmetics and motor vehicles. The law also extends to component parts of these products. Read more here.

World Shipping Council Briefs U.S. Shippers on EU Rules

(JOC – Peter T. Leach)

The World Shipping Council met with U.S.-based shipper and forwarder trade associations Thursday to explain the European Union’s new customs cargo security filing requirements, which are scheduled to enter into force on January 1, 2011. The new European rules will require the documentation of containerized cargo shipments that will arrive in European ports to be electronically filed with European customs authorities no later than 24 hours before vessel loading. Read more

World Trade to Grow 10% in 2010

(Industry Week – Agence France-Presse)

The World Trade Organization on July 23 raised its forecast for growth of global commerce to 10% this year, with its director general saying that even this might yet “turn out to be too low.” WTO chief Pascal Lamy said: “Our forecast for world trade this year is plus 10% in volume after the minus 12% we registered in ‘09.” Lamy was speaking at the launch of the trade body’s annual report on the sidelines of the Shanghai World Expo.

In a separate speech at Shanghai’s Institute of Foreign Trade, Lamy said that after last year’s dramatic slump, “trade growth is coming back fast, thanks in no small measure to the continuing dynamism of China and the others.” The WTO’s latest forecast marks a rise from the 9.5% issued in March. The secretariat had warned then that the figure could prove too optimistic as markets were at that point unsettled by Europe’s sovereign debt crisis.

In the trade body’s annual trade report, the WTO focused on the issue of trade in natural resources. It called for greater global cooperation on such trade, warning that a failure to work together could spark new tensions. “I believe not only that there is room for mutually beneficial negotiating trade-offs that encompass natural resources trade, but also that a failure to address these issues could be a recipe for growing tension in international trade relations,” said Lamy in the report. Read more here.

Canada Set to Enhance Export Permit Restrictions on Goods and Technology Potentially Useful in the Proliferation of Weapons

(Mondaq – Cliff Sosnow et al., Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP)

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT) published a proposed amendment to the Export Control List (ECL) in the Canada Gazette Part I on June 19, 2010. The proposed amendment is intended to clarify the scope of item 5505 – Goods and Technology for Certain Uses. This “catch-all” provision was first included on the ECL in 2002, in response to Canada’s international commitment to non-proliferation. It covers goods and technology not included elsewhere on the ECL that are intended for use in chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. Read more here.

Clarification of Grace Period for Encryption Registration Requirement

(World Trade Interactive)

The Bureau of Industry and Security has issued a final rule clarifying the intent of the encryption registration requirements that appeared in a June 25 interim final rule June 25 interim final rule liberalizing export controls on encryption products.

According to BIS, the June 25 rule established an encryption registration requirement for authorization under provisions of license exception ENC and for transactions in connection with mass market encryption transactions. The rule specified that an encryption registration must be filed the first time a party submits an encryption classification request or performs an encryption self-classification on or after Aug. 24. The rule also stated that an encryption registration must be submitted in support of an encryption classification or in circumstances where a party is making a mass market encryption item eligible for export and re-export for the first time on or after Aug. 24. Read more here.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bridge Claims Progress in Bid to Build Twin Span

(Dave Battagello — The Windsor Star)

A consultant's report that illustrates how Canada customs can accommodate secondary truck inspection at the foot of the Ambassador Bridge on Windsor's west end advances the bridge's plans to build a twin span, according to the son of owner Matty Moroun.

Canada Border Services Agency retained the consultant about six months ago to develop a master plan after repeated requests by the agency for Moroun to undertake the effort as part of an environmental assessment were ignored.

With the report recently completed, the bridge company has claimed the information is sufficient to get a permit on the twin span on the Canadian side. A condition of future approval includes Moroun being able to move CBSA secondary truck inspection back to the foot of the bridge in Windsor. Read more here.

Retailers Pay More to Get Cargo (No Guarantee)

(Stephanie Clifford — New York Times)

The grills shaped like kegs and toolboxes, ordered for a Father’s Day promotion at Cost Plus World Market, arrived too late for the holiday. At the Container Store, platinum-color hangers, advertised in a summer sale catalog, were delivered days after the sale began. At True Value Hardware, the latecomers were fans and portable chairs.

Fighting for freight, retailers are outbidding each other to score scarce cargo space on ships, paying two to three times last year’s freight rates — in some cases, the highest rates in five years. And still, many are getting merchandise weeks late.

The problems stem from 2009, when stores slashed inventory. With little demand for shipping, ocean carriers took ships out of service: more than 11 percent of the global shipping fleet was idle in spring 2009, according to AXS-Alphaliner, an industry consultant.

Carriers also moved to “slow steaming,” traveling at slower and more fuel-efficient speeds, while the companies producing containers, the typically 20- or 40-foot boxes in which most consumer companies ship goods, essentially stopped making them.

“All my customers, they’re having a terrible time,” said Steven L. Horton, principal at Horton Global Strategies, which negotiates freight contracts for companies. “With the increased cost and them not knowing if they’re even going to get the space or equipment, it’s a weekly battle.”

Retailers and suppliers like Mattel, Polo Ralph Lauren, Jones Apparel Group, Costco, the VF Corporation, Big Lots and Lifetime Brands have reported being hit with higher prices and capacity shortages. Read more here.

Monday, July 26, 2010

At Canadian Border, a Bridge to Prosperity

(Jeff Bennett — Wall Street Journal)

Billionaire Businessman Is Expected to Win Key Permit Allowing Him to Build a New Private Toll Span Between Detroit and Ontario

Billionaire businessman Manuel “Matty” Moroun is poised to move a step closer to tightening his control of traffic across the Detroit River, one of the continent’s busiest and most economically vital border crossings.

Mr. Moroun, whose Detroit International Bridge Co. owns the Ambassador Bridge connecting Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, is expected this week to win approval from Canadian customs authorities for a key part of his plan to build a second span over the same stretch of water. By contrast, plans for a competing, publicly owned bridge have stalled amid concerns over the potential cost to taxpayers.

At stake are tens of millions of dollars of annual toll revenue and a critical link in the U.S. auto industry’s supply chain.

Customs authorities’ go-ahead for a new bridge plaza to be developed by Mr. Moroun—including toll booths and customs-inspection buildings—would all but clear the way for his company to seek a final environmental permit from the Canadian transportation department to build the new six-lane bridge, adjacent to the existing one. The permit is one of the few regulatory hurdles remaining before construction can begin. Read more here.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Weekly Scope: Technical Bulletins from GHY at a Glance

An updated list of recently published government memorandums, notices, regulations and decisions for the week ending July 23, 2010 is now available on our website here.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Longshoremen and Employers Reach Agreement

(The Montreal Gazette)

Montreal's longshoremen and the Maritime Employers Association have come to an agreement to end the lock-out at Montreal's harbour. The city's 900-plus dock workers are expected to return to work on Saturday morning. "It's very good for us and for the people of Montreal and for the businesses," said Daniel Tremblay, president of the longshoremen's union, CUPE Local 375.

The dock workers will vote on the agreement Friday morning, but Tremblay says he is confident the majority will be in favour. The city's longshoremen were locked out on Monday morning after contract negotiations fell through. Container ships had to be re-routed to the United States, causing concerns among business owners about shipment delays.

WTO Report Calls For More Cooperation Among Governments in Natural Resource


In the WTO flagship publication World Trade Report 2010 launched on 23 July 2010 in Shanghai and Geneva, the economists maintain that “in a world where scarce natural resource endowments must be nurtured and managed with care, uncooperative trade policies could have a particularly damaging effect on global welfare.”.

The World Trade Report 2010 focuses on trade in natural resources, such as fuels, forestry, mining and fisheries. The Report examines the characteristics of trade in natural resources, the policy choices available to governments and the role of international cooperation, particularly of the WTO, in the proper management of trade in this sector.

Director-General Pascal Lamy, in his foreword, said: “I believe not only that there is room for mutually beneficial negotiating trade-offs that encompass natural resources trade, but also that a failure to address these issues could be a recipe for growing tension in international trade relations”.

“Well designed trade rules are key to ensuring that trade is advantageous, but they are also necessary for the attainment of objectives such as environmental protection and the proper management of natural resources in a domestic setting,” he added. The key elements of the Report:

Natural resources have a number of distinctive features — the skewed geographical distribution of natural resources, their exhaustibility, the widespread occurrence of economic effects of natural resource exploitation disregarded by the market (externalities), high natural resource dependency in some economies, and tendencies towards high price volatility in natural resource markets. These specificities affect the modes of resource trade as well as the effects that international commerce in natural resources has on welfare.

Gains from resources trade — Due to the geographical concentration of natural resources, trade has the potential to improve efficiency and increase welfare by shifting resources from regions of relative abundance to regions of relative scarcity. However, welfare comparisons are complicated by dynamic factors, namely the exhaustibility of natural resources, and pervasive market failures. The latter include imperfectly competitive markets and open access to resources when property rights are poorly defined. Four other major issues are commonly associated with natural resources trade — the presence of environmental externalities, the effect of technology on the sustainability of resources, the so-called “curse” faced by resource-rich economies, and the high volatility that characterizes some resource sectors. International trade interacts with all these factors in complex ways, in some cases exacerbating existing problems and at times providing solutions.

Trade policy in resource sectors — Resource-rich countries often restrict exports through a variety of means such as export taxes and quantitative restrictions, whereas tariff s and other import restrictions in resource-scarce countries are low. There are, however, two important qualifications to this general rule. First, domestic policies that are likely to affect trade flows, including subsidies, technical regulations and consumption taxes, are frequently used. Second, the structure of protection that resource exporters face tends to rise with the stage of processing (tariff escalation).

Policy interventions in natural resource sectors are justified on welfare grounds by the specific features of natural resources. Governments employ trade policies as instruments to achieve a number of legitimate objectives, such as improving resource conservation or stimulating diversification of exports away from dominant resource sectors. However, three significant caveats need to be kept in mind. First, trade measures are often a second best policy to address problems associated with natural resources.

Second, restrictions on trade have beggar-thy neighbour effects, either because they may affect world prices or because they shift profits between exporters and importers. Third, trade and domestic measures in natural resource sectors are close substitutes in some cases.

Resources trade regulation — The general principles of the multilateral trading system provide a framework for limiting non-cooperative trade policies, including within resource sectors. Several WTO rules have relevance in relation to the specific features of natural resources. WTO rules, however, were not drafted to regulate natural resources trade and may not always respond adequately to sectoral specificities.

The Report identifies several areas where consideration could be given to intensified cooperation. One such area involves trade policies such as export taxes, where bargains might ameliorate uncooperative trade outcomes. A second issue concerns the scope for conservation policies, such as the treatment of subsidies aimed at improving the conservation of natural resources. A third issue relates to the facilitation of trade flows of natural resources, specifically the scope of freedom of transit. A fourth area concerns the clarity of current WTO rules and the coherence between these and rules of international law embedded in different agreements that may be relevant to natural resources.

Key facts:

The total value of world trade in natural resources was US$ 3.7 trillion in 2008, or nearly 24 per cent of world merchandise trade. This value has increased more than six fold between 1998 and 2008.

The share of fuels in natural resource trade rose from 57 per cent in 1998 to 77 per cent in 2008. Fish and forestry products each represented 3 per cent of world trade in 2008, while mining products were responsible for 18 per cent.

The top 15 exporters of natural resources were responsible for 52 per cent of world resource shipments in 2008, while the top 15 importers received 71 per cent of traded resources.

Applied tariffs are (on average) 23 per cent lower in natural resource sectors relative to merchandise trade. Average bound rates in natural resource sectors are 1.7 per cent in developed countries and 30.4 per cent in developing and least-developed countries. Export taxes cover 11 per cent of natural resources trade compared to 5 per cent of other merchandise trade. Export restrictions on natural resource products represent 35 per cent of notified export restrictions.

Several natural resource sectors appear prominently in the subsidy notifications. Available research suggests that global subsidies to fisheries are in the order of US$ 25 and 29 billion annually.

Korea - Beef deal with Canada

(Meat Trade News Daily)

Bilateral talks between Korea and Canada to be held on 13 July this year to discuss the resumption of Canadian beef imports into Korea were unexpectedly delayed (Maeil Business Newspaper).

The Korean Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries notified their Canadian counterpart of the delay as more time is needed to gather data in order to hold talks effectively. The Korean agricultural ministry plans to come up with a nationwide agreement, involving livestock and quarantine experts, producers and consumers before the talks take place. Read more here.

Canada, U.S. Agree to Strengthen Economic Co-op, Trade


Canadian Minister of International Trade Peter Van Loan met on Thursday with Ron Kirk, U.S. Trade Representative, in Ottawa to discuss greater economic cooperation between Canada and the United States.

They discussed a wide range of issues, including the Canada-United States Agreement on Government Procurement, which resolved the Buy American issue earlier this year.

Building on the commitments made at the G-20 Summit, they also discussed the need to avoid protectionism and increase the 1.6 billion Canadian dollars in trade that crosses the border every day.

Following their meeting, Van Loan and Kirk told a press conference that the United States had agreed to transfer to Canada the collection of a 10 percent customs duty currently imposed on softwood lumber products imported into the United States from Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

As of Sept. 1, 2010, Canada will begin collecting this duty from the four provinces, and the revenue collected from this tax will stay in Canada and be distributed back to the four provinces. Read more here.

Ban on Canadian Peppers and Tomatoes

(WNWO Newsdesk)

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced that all whole tomatoes and peppers imported from Canada are prohibited in personal luggage until further notice.

As of June 21, the CBP and the U.S. Department of Agriculture initiated this ban due to the fact that Canada imports peppers from countries known to have been affected by the False Codling Moth. Canada also imports tomatoes from countries known to have been affected by the tomato leafminer. Both insects have the potential to cause significant economic damage to the American agricultural system.

Tomatoes and peppers that have been sliced may be allowed from Canada if they have been inspected by the CBP. Whole peppers and tomatoes grown in America may be imported after CPB inspection. Some proof of the country of origin must be placed on the container for importing.

Commercial shipments will be required to have a certificate which names of the country of origin and the greenhouse the plants were grown in before being allowed in the country.

ITC Issues Year in Trade Report for 2009

(International Trade Commission)

The International Trade Commission released July 21 The Year in Trade 2009, its annual review of U.S. trade-related activities. This publication reviews the administration of U.S. trade laws and regulations, the operation of the World Trade Organization, U.S. free trade agreements and negotiations, and relations with major trading partners. It includes:

• complete listings of antidumping, countervailing, safeguard, intellectual property rights infringement and section 301 investigations undertaken in 2009;

• the operation of trade preference programs such as the Generalized System of Preferences, the African Growth and Opportunity Act, the Andean Trade Preference Act and the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act;

• significant activities in the WTO, including its dispute settlement mechanism, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum;

• negotiation of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement;

• developments in bilateral and regional FTAs, including activities under the North American Free Trade Agreement and negotiations to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement;

• trade relations with major trading partners such as the European Union, Canada, China, Mexico, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Brazil and India; and

• an overview of U.S. trade in goods and services during 2009, with statistical tables highlighting bilateral trade with major trading partners and trade under U.S. trade preference programs.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

CBSA Message: Release Processing Disruptions - Marine Port of Montreal


As a result of recent disruptions at the marine port of Montréal, marine vessels may be diverted to another marine port.

Importers and brokers are encouraged to review any recently transmitted release transactions for shipments imported via the marine mode through the marine port of Montréal.

Due to the diversion of the marine vessels, the port of release and sub-location code as originally indicated on the release request may need to be changed. Brokers are encouraged to remain in contact with their marine carrier to ensure they are made aware of any changes.

Requests for changes to the port or warehouse sub-location code after goods have been released must be submitted on Form A48 - RMD Correction to the CBSA office where the goods are physically located.

Questions concerning the release of commercial goods may be sent to

The Doha Round and Round

(The Jakarta Globe)

When it comes to the World Trade Organization’s Doha Round of trade negotiations, the resolution of the G-20 meeting in Toronto can be characterized as vapid. The best the G-20 could do was reiterate its support for achieving an agreement and direct negotiators to “report on progress at our next meeting in Seoul where we will discuss the way forward.” In other words, nothing is expected to happen.

Originally scheduled to end in 2005, the Doha negotiations have dragged into their ninth year. The centrality of the WTO in the trading system is disappearing as its members increasingly pursue their trade interests through bilateral agreements.

While an agreement on the round would offer substantial economic benefits by reducing farm subsidies and opening up new markets, political obstacles inhibit its conclusion.

Many observers assign blame to the complexity of 153 members reaching consensus on an agenda with dozens of issues, but the heart of the matter is far simpler.

If the United States and China stepped up to the plate with new offers, the momentum for a speedy agreement would be unstoppable.
Read more here.

Manufacturers: Passage of Miscellaneous Tariff Bill Is Victory for Job Creation

(National Association of Manufacturers)

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO John Engler issued the following statement today after the House of Representatives voted to approve the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (H.R. 4380), the U.S. Manufacturing Enhancement Act:

“Manufacturers are pleased the House of Representatives passed the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) today. The NAM has been working relentlessly to educate Congress on the importance of this bill and how it will preserve and expand good American jobs. This legislation will also cut the costs of doing business in the United States and boost American manufacturing exports. In fact, studies show that if enacted, these provisions would increase production by $4.6 billion and support almost 90,000 jobs.

Manufacturers of all sizes use these vital tariff suspensions to obtain raw materials, proprietary inputs and other products that are not available in our nation. Without them, the costs of these companies’ products will inevitably increase, forcing them to pass on these costs to consumers. This hinders competitiveness and translates into lost jobs for American workers.

Further, the MTB process is wholly transparent and open to the public. Each proposed duty suspension is subject to a meticulous and non-partisan vetting process to ensure that no domestic producers of the affected product exist. The International Trade Commission, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Management and Budget and the congressional committees of jurisdiction collaborate to review each proposed duty suspension.

Manufacturers will continue to work with Congress as this bill moves through the legislative process

Ottawa Sails Into Port Dispute

(The Montreal Gazette)

Federal Labour Minister Lisa Raitt has referred the Port of Montreal dispute to the Canadian Industrial Relations Board.

The action was taken yesterday in response to concerns raised about the supply of goods to Newfoundland and Labrador, Raitt's office said in a statement.

"We must ensure that the health and safety of the public are not jeopardized," Raitt said in the statement.

About half of the goods destined for Newfoundland go through Montreal's port, that province said Monday, the first day of the longshoremen's lockout in Montreal.

The longshoremen's union and the association representing shipping lines are to meet with CIRB officials Saturday morning in Montreal.

"We understand that (the federal government) wants us to unload ships that carry medications and goods related to health," said Daniel Tremblay, president of CUPE Local 375, the Longshoremen's Union.

This morning,(Thursday), Tremblay, other union officials and representatives of the Maritime Employers Association are to meet with federal mediators in a session tentatively set before the lockout began.
Read more here.

CETA and Government Procurement: What's In It for Canadians? – July 23, Toronto

I.E.Canada in partnership with Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (FAITC) and Bennett Jones LLP invite you to attend a roundtable discussion to hear the latest developments in the CETA negotiations following the current round of talks in July 2010.

Government Procurement is one of the remaining principle requirements the European Union is seeking in the Canada-EU Free Trade Agreement. Worth hundreds of billions of dollars annually, government procurement markets are an important aspect of international trade.

What are the implications for Canadian companies of opening Canada’s government procurement markets to European suppliers and what are the prospects of expanding access to European procurement markets for Canadian exporters? Come and join I.E.Canada and other industry stakeholders in a roundtable discussion regarding government procurement negotiations.

When: Friday, July 23, 2010
Where: Bennett Jones LLP, Suite 3400, 1 First Canadian Place, Toronto, Ontario
Time: 12:00-12:20 p.m. – Registration and Lunch
12:20-2:00 p.m. – Program

This is a complimentary invitation for interested parties with limited seating. Please click here to register. If you are unable to attend in person but would like to participate via teleconference, please contact Amesika Baëta, Committee Director at

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

PBoC Official Says China Will Allow Yuan To Weaken If Necessary

(RTT News)

The People’s Bank of China will allow the country’s currency to depreciate against the U.S. dollar to support exporters if necessary, a central bank adviser said.

In an interview with Japan’s daily Asahi Shimbun, published Wednesday, PBoC official Zhou Qiren said the central bank cannot allow the exchange rate to fluctuate too quickly, as China’s export-oriented companies will not be able to cope with it. What is most important is to show exporters and importers that the exchange rate of renminbi does indeed fluctuate, he added.

In June, the Chinese government said it would loosen its exchange rate regime, although it ruled out a large one-off revaluation. The yuan has gained around 0.8% against the dollar since then. Read more

New US Sanctions Expand Risks for Non-US Companies Doing Business With Iran


On July 1, 2010, President Obama signed into US law new and tougher sanctions designed to discourage and punish non-US firms that provide support to Iran’s energy and financial sectors. Building and expanding on existing laws that the US Congress asserted needed to be strengthened, the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 expands the range of activities, persons and entities that could be penalized under US law.

This Alert discusses the key provisions of the new sanctions rules and their potential effect on an expanding list of targeted activities and actors.
Read more here.

Message to House: Pass the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill


The National Association of Manufacturers has sent a
Key Vote letter to House members urging a yes vote on H.R. 4380, the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill. Excerpt:

The MTB is one of the most important short-term actions Congress can take to preserve and expand good American jobs, cut the costs of doing business in the United States and boost American manufacturing exports. U.S. manufacturers large and small use the MTB’s tariff suspension provisions to obtain raw materials, proprietary inputs and other products that are not available in our nation.

Without the MTB, the cost of these companies’ products will inevitably increase, forcing them to pass higher costs on to consumers and making their products less competitive. These higher costs translate into lost jobs for American workers.

The MTB process is wholly transparent and open to the public. Each proposed duty suspension is subject to a meticulous and non-partisan vetting process to ensure that no domestic producers of the affected product exist. The International Trade Commission, U.S. Commerce Department, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Management and Budget and the congressional committees of jurisdiction collaborate to review each proposed duty suspension.

Transparent, reviewed by the Executive Branch and Legislative Branch alike, and benefiting no one congressional district: The tariff suspensions are not earmarks under any usual understanding of the term.

The letter notes that a July 2009 study by the economist, Andrew Szamosszegi of Capital Trade, Inc. concluded that enactment of the tariff bill would increase U.S. production by $4.6 billion while supporting nearly 90,000 jobs.

Unfortunately, the bill has been placed on the House suspensions calendar, where a two-thirds vote is necessary for passage.

Fortunately, the case for the bill is so strong that that margin is attainable.

The NAM uses Key Vote letters to determine a member of Congress’ voting record on manufacturing issues.

Note: After a brief period of debate in the House this morning, the final vote on HR 4380 was postponed due to request for recorded vote. Under the suspension rules, any request for the yeas and nays results in a postponement of the final vote. Accordingly, chances are dim for the MTB to be passed in this Congress.

‘Everything in Our Industry is Driven By China’

(Evan Duggan — Embassy)

The economic recession means Canadian sectors are increasingly turning to the Middle Kingdom.

Paul Stothart is excited.

Last year, iron ore and coal alone accounted for nearly $1.6 billion in Canadian exports to China. This represented $1 billion more than in 2008, continuing a trend that has become a major boon for Canada’s mining sector.

“Everything in our industry is driven by China,” said Mr. Stothart, vice-president of economic affairs at the Mining Association of Canada, explaining that world mineral prices for copper, nickel, zinc and uranium are largely set by—increasing—Chinese demand for raw minerals.

The Middle Kingdom looms just as large for Andrew Casey, vice-president of foreign affairs and international trade at the Forestry Producers Association of Canada.

“It’s been a brutal couple of years,” he said, adding that the ongoing downturn in the US housing industry has had a dramatic impact on Canada’s forestry industry. He predicts that long-term economic sustainability for the sector will ultimately arrive only from diversification. A comprehensive approach to selling Canadian forest products, he said, includes Asia.

“Success in Asia is almost critical for the industry’s future, and that’s why we’re very encouraged by what we’re seeing,” said Mr. Casey. Read more here.

US Starting to Work Collaboratively on the Border, Instead of Alone: Experts

(Anca Gurzu — Embassy)

Last week, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews and United States Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced a plan to establish a first-ever cross-border approach to critical infrastructure. It would see the two nations sharing information and managing risks in an effort to better prepare and respond to natural disasters. The two countries also announced the possibility of sharing information to combat money-laundering and terrorist financing.

“Our mutual security extends beyond our borders and we must work together to mitigate threats before they reach either Canada or the US while facilitating the legitimate mobility of people and goods between us,” Mr. Toews said in a news release.

“The security of the United States and Canada is uniquely linked by proximity and a long history of close collaboration between our two governments,” followed Mrs. Napolitano.

But the history of close collaboration has not been that long, experts say. In the aftermath of 9/11, Canada has been mostly reacting to unilaterally-proposed security measures by the US, as opposed to truly working together, they say.

It is the language of this latest announcement and the last few months, however, that make experts optimistic about the move towards true collaboration. Read more here.

Ministers Day and Baird Tour Port Facilities in British Columbia

(Transport Canada)

Today the Honourable Stockwell Day, President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, and Canada’s Transport and Infrastructure Minister John Baird concluded their tour of port facilities in Kitimat and Prince Rupert, British Columbia.

“These ports are vital to boost trade between Canada and the growing economies of the Asia-Pacific region,” said Minister Day. “They provide Canada with a crucial edge in the competition among North American west coast ports for business with Asia. This is another example of the competitive economic advantage that our government is aggressively promoting.”

“Our visit was a great opportunity to see the investments our government is making to modernize and strengthen the ports in this region,” added Baird. “As demonstrated by today’s tour, our investments have paid off and helped attract more business.”

During their visit, both ministers toured the harbour facilities in Kitimat, where they saw first-hand why the area is increasingly recognized as a strategic hub to support Canada’s energy development in the northwest region. Kitimat industries have produced up to 12 per cent of British Columbia’s manufacturing GDP and currently export over $1 billion a year in manufactured products.

The visit continued at the Port of Prince Rupert, the second-largest deep-sea port on Canada’s West Coast and the deepest natural harbour in North America. With dedicated grain, coal, forest products, specialty grain and container-handling facilities, the port handled 12.2 million tonnes of cargo in 2009, up 15 per cent from the previous year. Shipping through the Port of Prince Rupert reduces steaming time between Asia and North America by two to three days and cuts a further one to two days off the dwell time at the container port, resulting in a three- to five-day time saving (over a normal 17-day trip). From Prince Rupert, rail links can quickly transport goods right into the heart of North America.

Operations at the Port of Prince Rupert and the Port of Kitimat contribute to the economic well-being of these communities. An economic impact study released by the Port Rupert Port Authority demonstrated that, as of October 2009, the port was a significant economic generator, with direct employment related to operations totalling 1,500 jobs.

While in Prince Rupert, the ministers toured the Fairview Container Terminal. They also visited Ridley Terminals, a federal Crown corporation that operates a bulk handling terminal for the efficient and reliable movement of coal and other bulk commodities.

Canada’s Asia-Pacific Gateway is a system of transportation infrastructure that includes British Columbia Lower Mainland and Prince Rupert ports, road and rail connections that reach across Western Canada and into the economic heartland of North America, as well as major airports and border crossings. Since 2006, the Government of Canada, through its Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative, has partnered with B.C. and other western provinces, municipalities and the private sector to undertake strategic infrastructure projects worth more than $2.8 billion, including federal contributions of over $1 billion.