Canada launches global trade complaint against US

Canada launches global trade complaint against US

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer called Canada's action an "ill-advised attack on the U.S. trade remedies system".

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

On Wednesday the country requested that the World Trade Organization step in to review certain US trade actions and whether they're in accordance with its obligations as a member of the WTO.

The file was made public on Wednesday and cites almost 200 complaints by Canada against the US, many of which include Canada's trading partners such as China, India, Brazil, and the European Union. "Even if Canada succeeded on these groundless claims, other countries would primarily benefit, not Canada", he said.

"It's (saying), 'The entire way in which the USA - you - are conducting your anti-dumping, countervailing procedures, is wrong,"' said Chad Bown, a trade expert at Washington's Peterson Institute. "It's nearly like Canada is fighting this on behalf of the global community ..."

Given recent musings that Ottawa expects the Trump administration is about to pull the plug on NAFTA, there is speculation that Canada is either trying to gain leverage ahead of the next round of negotiations, or signaling that, with no free trade agreement in place, it intends to use the WTO to fight its trade battles. 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.

More news: Zac Brown Band Opens National Championship with Stunning National Anthem Performance

"We know that when unbiased entities review these unfair trade practices, they have found in Canada's favour", Yurkovich said in a statement.

The reason Canada did this, says Boscariol, is in large part because of the softwood lumber, but by taking on the entire US trade remedies system, Canada is taking the position that the USA, as our most important customer, must be held to WTO rules when it imposes these anti-dumping and countervailing measures that hamper free trade.

A massive question is left unanswered: why did Canada file this request at the WTO while the NAFTA renegotiations are underway (and nothing short of arduous)? "Canada's claims are unfounded and could only lower US confidence that Canada is committed to mutually beneficial trade".

Indeed, the Trump administration wasted no time expressing its displeasure.

Worldwide courts have consistently over-ruled USA -imposed duties on Canadian lumber.

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.

Related Articles