Canada complains to WTO, says USA breached trade rules

Canada's WTO complaint against US could scuttle NAFTA Expert

Canada complains to WTO, says USA breached trade rules

The US called the claims "unfounded", with its Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer saying: "Canada's new request for consultations at the WTO is a broad and ill-advised attack on the US trade remedies system". "It's nearly like Canada is fighting this on behalf of the global community ..."

Almost half the cases the Trudeau government is championing in its WTO filing are instances in which the United States has penalized shipments from China that it considers subsidized or dumped at below-cost prices. "Canada's complaint is bad for Canada".

He further called Canada's accusations "unfounded" and said that they "could only lower U.S. confidence" that its neighbor is committed to mutually beneficial trade.

"Canada is acting against its own workers' and businesses' interests", Lighthizer added.

The complaint marks Canada's most exhaustive attempt yet to counter recent import duties imposed by the USA, particularly on Canadian softwood lumber products.

If the United States decides to continue recognizing the WTO's dispute-settlement mechanism to decide on the fairness of US trade remedies, then a decision in Canada's favour would support Canada's claim that the USA system is biased, making it easier to argue in favour of keeping chapter 19.

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"These duties are unwarranted and without merit and we 100 per cent support the federal government's WTO filing position". Mr. Trump has complained the organization, which came into being because of US support, is biased against American interests. "We lose the lawsuits, nearly all of the lawsuits in the WTO". "It's an escalation for sure", said Prof.

They fear that it could ultimately prompt United States President Donald Trump to invoke NAFTA's article 2205, notifying partners of intent to withdraw from the pact after a period of six months. The negotiations certainly aren't unfamiliar with shows of muscle or grandstanding; think of the Trump administration's outrageous NAFTA demands, the threat to leave NAFTA, the softwood lumber dispute, the Boeing-Bombardier dispute and most recently, the newspaper dispute.

Steep import duties leveled by the US have become a regular fixture of the industry, according to Joel Neuheimer, a vice-president at the Forest Products Association of Canada.

In the 32-page complaint, Canada detailed areas where they argue that the United States' tariff investigations and reviews have been inconsistent with its obligations under several WTO agreements.

With its WTO filing, Canada is forcing the United States to put its logic to the test.

Chad Bown, an economist and trade expert at the Peterson Institute in Washington, said Canada's WTO move sends a stark message to Mr. Trump amid NAFTA talks: If you kill the deal, this is how Canada will fight you in trade disputes. Such notice would not automatically mean a withdrawal: It would only give the United States the option to pull out after the six-month period elapses.

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