Canada complains to WTO, says United States breached trade rules

Canada complains to WTO, says United States breached trade rules

Susan Yurkovich, President of the BC Lumber Trade Council, said in a statement: "For decades, the Canadian lumber industry has been subject to unfair and unwarranted duties imposed by the U.S. Department of Commerce, and has filed appeals under the NAFTA and WTO agreements". "It's nearly like Canada is fighting this on behalf of the worldwide community ..." If the Trump administration undermines the WTO and even comes to reject it, then Canada is plenty justified in insisting to keep chapter 19 in NAFTA, since there would not be an alternative independent institution to deal with national countervailing and anti-dumping duties in North America.

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.

The irony here is that Canada is making the same complaint about the United States.

Indeed, U.S. trade czar Robert Lighthizer called the move an "ill-advised attack", adding that "Canada's claims are unfounded and could only lower U.S. confidence that Canada is committed to mutually beneficial trade".

"Canada is acting against its own workers' and businesses' interests", he said.

We'll see if other countries decide to join Canada in stepping forward to complain about USA trade practices.

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.

"The WTO was set up for the benefit [of] everybody but us". "It's an escalation for sure", said Prof.

However, he explained that US President Donald Trump's administration "dislikes" the WTO's dispute-settlement body and believes that countries rely on it "inappropriately to achieve results they can't achieve through negotiations".

Last month a US trade panel locked in hefty subsidies on softwood 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. The Canadian government is preparing for the possibility that Trump will withdraw from NAFTA, senior officials say, though they aren't entirely convinced that he will.

WASHINGTON-Canada has launched a wide-ranging attack against American trade practices in a broad global complaint over that country's use of punitive duties-a move the United States is calling "broad and ill-advised".

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