Wednesday, 19 September, 2018

Canada Launches Global Trade Complaint Against US Over Use of Duties

Canada Launches Global Trade Complaint Against US Over Use of Duties Canada Launches Global Trade Complaint Against US Over Use of Duties
Isabel Fisher | 13 January, 2018, 03:38

According to the US Department of Commerce, Canadian newsprint paper exports to the United States totaled about 1.6 billion Dollars in 2016.

Many experts have criticized the Canadian government for its timing.

Canada has protested the tariffs in other filings with the WTO and under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Edward Alden of the Council on Foreign Relations called it a precarious moment for NAFTA and the global trading system, both of which are under threats and criticism from Trump: "Canada has just detonated a bomb under both". The U.S. government slapped punitive tariffs on Canadian exports to the United States, alleging the goods are subsidized and being dumped at low prices in the American market.

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.

Filing the complaint is referred to as a request for consultations.

Thirty-two-page complaint by Canada cites United States investigations of products from countries around the world, with decisions that date back to 1996.


Put another way, Canada may be taking on the United States on behalf of the rest of the world, whether by default or construction. This goes for trade negotiations with China, with Comprehensive Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership parties, and with the United States.

"Canada is acting against its own workers' and businesses' interests", Lighthizer added. Trying to get as much as possible from the process by using all political and legal means available is simply part of the process.

After reports Wednesday that Canada now considered it inevitable that Trump would try to withdraw the USA from the treaty, one Canadian official with knowledge of the NAFTA negotiation offered a more nuanced position in an email to the Post, saying, "it's not accurate to say we're convinced", but that there was "no question we think there's a chance it could happen".

Second, Canada may be more strategic than we think.

With the list of trade irritants between Canada and the United States growing day by day, Ottawa has launched a wide-ranging trade complaint against its southern neighbour, over Washington's increasingly protectionist trade practices, according to a World Trade Organization filing dated December 20 and published Wednesday.

Across the negotiating table, the United States argues that chapter 19 is unnecessary because the WTO exists, (it did not when NAFTA came into force) and because the United States system is not biased in favour of US firms.

"Canada considers the measures relating to USA anti-dumping or countervailing duty investigations, reviews or other proceedings are inconsistent with US obligations under the WTO's Anti-Dumping Agreement, the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 and the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes", the WTO said in a statement. USA trade remedies ensure that trade is fair by counteracting dumping or subsidies that are injuring US workers, farmers, and manufacturers.

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