'Canada's WTO complaint against United States could scuttle NAFTA'

Canada's WTO complaint against US could scuttle NAFTA Expert

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".

According to a WTO filing dated December 20 and published on January 10, Canada has launched a trade dispute against the U.S. challenging its repeated use of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy trade remedies.

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The filing also complained about USA treatment of export controls as well as the imposition of retroactive tariffs.

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.

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"It's interesting that Canada has chosen to file such a broad complaint", Boscariol told CBA National. "Canada and the US share a longstanding and important relationship, but in the face of these unfounded trade actions it's important that our government defends Canada's interests".

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.

It's possible other countries may join this complaint as intervenors, making it a bigger and more embarrassing problem for the USA government.

Critics have accused the Trump administration of wanting to hobble the WTO.

"Canada is acting against its own workers' and businesses' interests", he said. Even if Canada succeeded with their claims, other countries would primarily benefit, not Canada, Lighthizer argued. 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.

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"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", Yurkovich said in a statement.

Anticipating an imminent USA retreat from NAFTA, the Canadian government has chose to go on the offensive in managing its trade relations with our Southern neighbor.

Canada's complaint coincides with separate trilateral negotiations to revise NAFTA, which created an open trading system between the United States, Canada and Mexico.

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.

NAFTA has been heavily criticized by Trump, who called it the "worst deal in USA history" and warned that he might scrap it.

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