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

More Peninsula councillors declare their 2018 intentions

Carl Jensen and Chris Graham, both of Central Saanich, have said they will run again.

Woodwynn Farms to be shut down and sold

The rehabilitation program at Woodwynn Farms is being shut down. According to… Continue reading

Wind warning in effect for Greater Victoria

Strong winds could reach up to 80 km/hr along coastal areas

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington for the day

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, “high avalanche danger”

Whisky society commits to charity donation in wake of whisky raids

Refund of Victoria Whiskey Festival tickets won’t impact charity beneficiaries

Sidney’s Salish Sea aquarium to close for maintenance

First extended closure for the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea since it opened in 2009

Butchart Gardens is hiring now and paying more

Wages start at $15, job fair Feb. 20

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Cash still needed for Stelly’s Cross Path

MLA Olsen wants more specifics first

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

WHL winning streak ends at four in Kelowna for Victoria

Royals lose 8-4 as Rockets explode offensively

Wind warning back in effect around Vancouver Island

80 km/h winds expected Saturday, Jan. 20, on east coast of Island, 100 km/h on west coast

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

Most Read