Canada complains to WTO about United States trade duties

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Canada said the new USA 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.

"These rates tabled lby the USA on uncoated groundwood paper represent the third action that stands to hurt hard working men and women in our mill communities across Canada", says Derek Nighbor, CEO, Forest Products Association of Canada.

Canada is in essence arguing that the American use of anti-dumping and countervailing duties violates global trade rules. There are 122 instances involving various countries listed in the WTO filing, which dates to December.

The complaint covers actions taken against not just Canada but countries all around the world, from Japan to South Africa.

Kevin Dietsch/SIPA/NewscomAmerica's trading relationship with its northern neighbor continues to deteriorate as the US and Canada butt heads over the Trump administration's protectionism.

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.

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.

The Canadian government feels this case could add weight to an existing complaint to the WTO over the duties Washington has levied on Canadian softwood.

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"Canada considers the measures relating to US anti-dumping or countervailing duty investigations, reviews or other proceedings are inconsistent with USA 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.

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

But it also goes well beyond Canada-U.S. softwood lumber spats, citing alleged worldwide trade breaches by the U.S. against a host of imported products, from Argentine lemon juice to frozen shrimp from India. But he questioned the strategic logic of antagonizing the Trump administration in the midst of NAFTA talks.

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.

"This isn't going to calm passions in Montreal", Warner said.

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

Canada believes Mr. Trump's threat is serious: One source said Ottawa was ready for the President to pull the plug last fall and was surprised when the United States instead extended the negotiations to March.

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