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Canada Launches Global Trade Complaint Against US Over Use of Duties

Canada Launches Global Trade Complaint Against US Over Use of Duties

Canada cites 188 examples of USA trade remedies in its claims, but only a handful involve US trade action against Canada and another 33 countries are mentioned. "Canada's complaint is bad for Canada". "I'd think you're giving more ammunition to an administration that has taken the position that the WTO and bi-national panels infringe on the sovereignty of the United States". This decision appears even more fraught given the USA administration's critical stance on the WTO; the Trump administration feels as if world trade rules are stacked against them.

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

The complaint ramps up tensions amid talks on renegotiating the North American Free Trade agreement.

Further to the WTO complaint, Lighthizer said, "Canada is acting against its own workers' and businesses' interests". Trying to get as much as possible from the process by using all political and legal means available is simply part of the process. Chapter 19 allows the parties to bypass the national judicial system to challenge countervailing and anti-dumping duties.

The United States called the complaint, which includes cases that involve a variety of exports as well as other nations such as China and Brazil, an attack on how the nation goes about using its trade enforcement system.

Gas expected to rise five cents per litre in 2018
The news comes just a week after GasBuddy's annual report found that 2018 gas prices could be the highest in four years. Nationwide, the average price of gas is expected to reach or exceed $2.70 a gallon in April and May, GasBuddy reported.

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's forestry sector is following the rules and we're confident that we will prevail-again-in worldwide tribunals".

The WTO revealed on Wednesday that Canada had filed a complaint last month accusing the United States of unfairly imposing countervailing and anti-dumping duties, not only on Canadian softwood lumber but also on goods from many other countries.

"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".

Ideally, Canada would want to keep both chapter 19 and the United States' commitment to the WTO, since it gives it more ammunition in disputes.

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.

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