A delegate waits for the start of the closing ceremony at the World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Dec. 13. The Canadian complaint filed to the World Trade Organization alleges that American use of anti-dumping and countervailing duties violate global trade rules. (NATACHA PISARENKO / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE PHOTO)

Canada launches global trade complaint against U.S.

Canada launches global trade complaint vs U.S. over use of duties

Canada has launched a wide-ranging attack against U.S. trade practices in a broad international complaint over American use of punitive duties.

It has asked the World Trade Organization to examine the use of duties in the United States, alleging that they violate international law for five reasons. The complaint was filed last month but released Wednesday, with some coincidental timing: the U.S. has just announced duties as high as nine per cent on Canadian paper.

The move follows a series of similar penalties as the U.S. alleges unfair trade practices from Canada in the form of softwood lumber and Bombardier subsidies.

Related: U.S. lumber dispute drives B.C.’s latest trade effort in Asia

The Canadian complaint alleges that American use of anti-dumping and countervailing duties violates global trade rules.

It says the U.S. levies penalties beyond what’s allowed by the WTO, improperly calculates rates and unfairly declares penalties retroactive, while also limiting evidence from outside parties. It also accuses the U.S. of using a trade-panel voting system that’s biased against foreigners.

The 32-page complaint cites dozens of examples unrelated to Canada, including 122 cases where the U.S. imposed duties on foreign countries.

Related: Trump: Canada being “difficult” in NAFTA talks

The disputes over paper, lumber and aerospace are occurring just as the countries prepare to meet in Montreal later this month for a potentially pivotal round of NAFTA negotiations.

“This isn’t going to calm passions in Montreal,” said Canada-U.S. trade lawyer Mark Warner.

The Canadian complaints might have some merit, and Canada is well within its rights to complain to the WTO, Warner said. But he questioned the strategic logic of antagonizing the Trump administration in the midst of NAFTA talks.

He called it surprising that Canada is citing foreign cases in its complaint even as it engages in sensitive negotiations against an administration that already dislikes the WTO.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Wires left dangling after van crashes into hydro pole in Dashwood

Road closed while BC Hydro crews dealt with situation

Parksville powerlifter qualifies for world championships

Buhler sets personal bests in both raw and equipped lifting events

Police go on hunt for distracted drivers in Parksville Qualicum Beach

One motorist ticketed for not wearing a seatbelt and using a cellphone while driving

Motorists attempted CPR on victim in fatal Highway 4 crash west of Whiskey Creek

Witnesses say three vehicles involved in collision; man in 70s confirmed dead

Parksville’s mystery cowboy revealed

Kevin Gourlay’s horse garners attention for being ‘parked’ outside a liquor store

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Fire crews battle large blaze at Courtenay hostel

Courtenay Fire Chief Don Bardonnex said nobody was injured

Illegal cannabis club in Port Alberni ticketed again

RCMP seize cannabis, issue fine for second time in five months

Motorcyclist dies after three-vehicle crash on old Island Highway

Accident happened at 12:15 p.m. Friday near Country Club Centre in Nanaimo

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Most Read