Canada Targets US Trade Remedies With Massive WTO Case

Canada Targets US Trade Remedies With Massive WTO Case

Canada-U.S. trade lawyer Mark Warner said the complaints might have some merit, and Canada is well within its rights to complain to the WTO. "This is effectively Canada bringing a dispute on behalf of all exporters in the world - the Europeans, Japan, China - because they're making a systemic challenge".

But it also goes well beyond Canada-U.S. softwood lumber spats, citing alleged global trade breaches by the U.S. against a host of imported products, from Argentine lemon juice to frozen shrimp from India.

Canada says the United States is breaking WTO rules in myriad ways, including by retroactively applying duties on foreign imports it deems to be subsidized or dumped, and using the lowest price it can find - rather than the average - when calculating alleged infractions.

In what reads like the pee dossier of trade policy, Canada accuses the United States of 188 different violations of World Trade Organization policies going back to the mid-1990s.

The 32-page complaint cites dozens of examples unrelated to Canada, including 122 cases where the United States imposed duties on foreign countries. Sands, who said the move may have come because Canadian trade negotiators and politicians believe the strategy of playing nice with the Trump administration has not paid dividends.

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He called it surprising that Canada is taking its action against an administration that already dislikes the WTO, and has sabotaged the appointment of new WTO judges.

Canada said the new US duties imposed January 10 broke the World Trade Organization's (WTO) Anti-Dumping Agreement, the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, and the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes. Even if Canada succeeded with their claims, other countries would primarily benefit, not Canada, Lighthizer argued.

It also might result in a flood of imports from other countries - if the complaint successfully have American tariffs removed - and cost Canada billions of dollars in exports to the US, Lighthizer said. Ottawa's 32-page complaint packs a wallop, accusing the US of violating WTO rules in anti-dumping and countervailing duty probes focused not. "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". For example, if the US removed the orders listed in Canada's complaint, the flood of imports from China and other countries would negatively impact billions of dollars in Canadian exports to the United States, including almost $9 billion in exports of steel and aluminum products and more than $2.5 billion in exports of wood and paper products.

"Canada's claims threaten the ability of all countries to defend their workers against unfair trade".

While Canada continues to hope for the best from the NAFTA renegotiation, Freeland says it is also preparing for the worst-case scenario - a decision by President Donald Trump to withdraw from the three-way, continental trade pact.

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