The US can't have its WTO and disregard it too

14 January, 2018, 00:08 | Author: Phil Peters
  • Bombardier Aerospace the Canadian company faces a 300 per cent duty on US sales of its C Series jets such as the CS100

Missing from Lighthizer's statement, naturally, was any mention of how the administration he works for has lowered confidence in the U.S.'s commitment to mutually beneficial trade.

"It's interesting that Canada has chosen to file such a broad complaint", Boscariol told CBA National.

Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland indicated that the step was a necessary response to the earlier softwood lumber dispute, though, the document attacks the entire United States system, not just the decisions on softwood lumber.

The 32-page filing not only accuses the USA of improperly imposing duties on Canadian products but also on those of other trading partners, including Brazil, China, EU and India.

Canada has protested the tariffs in other filings with the WTO and under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Put another way, Canada may be taking on the United States on behalf of the rest of the world, whether by default or construction. This goes for trade negotiations with China, with Comprehensive Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership parties, and with the United States.

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"Canada is acting against its own workers' and businesses' interests", Lighthizer added. Trying to get as much as possible from the process by using all political and legal means available is simply part of the process. But he questioned the strategic logic of antagonizing the Trump administration in the midst of NAFTA talks.

Canada lodged a World Trade Organization complaint accusing the US of regularly breaching worldwide trade laws through various countervailing and anti-dumping duties, citing almost 200 examples spanning several decades.

Second, Canada may be more strategic than we think.

He said that during the current NAFTA negotiations, which enter the sixth round in Canada later this month, the USA has made it clear that it wants to remove a dispute-resolution mechanism for anti-dumping and countervailing cases under Chapter 19 of the 24-year-old trilateral trade agreement.

A wide-ranging trade complaint has been filed by Canada against the United States, accusing it of breaking global trade rules.

Warner believes that the Canadian government may be playing to a domestic audience in demonstrating that it is not only being "very assertive" in addressing trade disputes, but that it is also trying to "embarrass the Americans" before the world by citing nearly 180 trade breaches over two decades against other countries listed on 24 pages of Canada's 32-page complaint before the WTO. 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.

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