Canada Launches Global Trade Complaint Against US Over Use of Duties

Canada's WTO complaint against US could scuttle NAFTA Expert

Canada launches global trade complaint against US

Canada has filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) amid a dispute with the US, a day after its newsprint became the latest product to be slapped with import duties by Washington.

"The United States restricts interested parties from submitting factual information or other evidence which would allow them to fully defend their interests in anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations by effectively closing the evidentiary record before the preliminary determination", the complaint stated. "Even if Canada succeeded on these groundless claims, other countries would primarily benefit, not Canada", he said.

"Canada's new request for consultations at the WTO is a broad and ill-advised attack on the US trade remedies system", Lighthizer said in a Wednesday statement.

Canada lodged a World Trade Organization complaint accusing the USA of regularly breaching worldwide trade laws through various countervailing and anti-dumping duties, citing almost 200 examples spanning several decades.

The irony here is that Canada is making the same complaint about the United States.

Canada is in essence arguing that the American use of anti-dumping and countervailing duties violates global trade rules.

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This comes as expectations grow in Ottawa that President Donald Trump will soon announce the United States intends to pull out of the North American free-trade agreement. The Canadian government is preparing for the possibility that Trump will withdraw from NAFTA, senior officials say, though they aren't entirely convinced that he will.

In October, for example, the U.S. Department of Commerce slapped an 80 percent anti-dumping duty on Bombardier's delivery of 100- to 150-seat C Series planes in the United States. But he questioned the strategic logic of antagonizing the Trump administration in the midst of NAFTA talks.

Trade relations between the countries have experienced some stumbling points as the sides are deadlocked in unsuccessful negotiations over NAFTA, the trade pact signed by the US, Canada, and Mexico in 1994 and based on the fundamental principle of tariff-elimination across North America.

Canada's $65-billion-a-year forest products industry represents 2 per cent of the country's Gross Domestic Product and is one of Canada's largest employers, operating in over 600 communities, providing 230,000 direct jobs, and 1 million indirect jobs across the country.

"This isn't going to calm passions in Montreal", Warner told The Canadian Press. "But with the Trump administration being relatively new, and because of the protectionist noises we've been hearing from them, it's not at all clear what sort of reaction the USA might have".

Further to the WTO complaint, Lighthizer said, "Canada is acting against its own workers' and businesses' interests".

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