In December 2020, Canadian authorities announced its decision to impose new duties on exports of wheat gluten from EU Member States, including Austria, Belgium, France, Germany and Lithuania, along with Australia.
In a Statement of Reasons published earlier this month, the authorities outlined the new duties that range between 10% and 26,2%. The decision confirms the Findings of the Canadian International Tribunal (CITT) – published on 22 April – which upheld that the Canadian Border Service Agency had found that dumping of wheat gluten originating in or exported from Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany and Lithuania caused injury to the domestic industry.
Based on misleading assessments
According to Starch Europe, however, the decision was taken despite repeated oppositions provided by itself and other EU institutions and companies.
It contended the investigation relied on a misleading assessment of the structure of the EU starch industry. More particularly, the anti-dumping duties were applied despite the absence of proof of any injury suffered by Canadian producing companies.
“Starch Europe and its member companies regret a hastily one-sided preliminary decision taken in December 2020, four months after the launch of the investigations in August 2020, and despite active contribution from the EU industry,” said Starch Europe.
“Since August 2020, EU wheat gluten companies located in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany and Lithuania provided detailed information, notably data proving that conditions of imports of wheat gluten from these EU countries on the Canadian market were aligned with global market conditions.”
It added that, as an advocate of fact-based assessments, the stakeholders based their contribution on publically-available data from COMEXT (a statistical database on trade of goods managed by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Commission), which report price levels of EU wheat gluten exported to Canada consistent with the prices of exports to the rest of the world and, if anything, higher.
“We regret that the CBSA and CITT took their decision without taking into account opposing data or facts proving a different situation, and substantiating their assessment.
“Furthermore, this situation occurs despite closer trade ties between Canada and the EU, since the implementation of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. In the context of these supposed closer trade ties, combined with the current challenging economic environment, the decision of the Canadian authorities is all the more regrettable,” it added.