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

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

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

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

"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", said Susan Yurkovich, president of the BC Lumber Trade Council.

Indeed, U.S. trade czar Robert Lighthizer called the move an "ill-advised attack", adding that "Canada's claims are unfounded and could only lower U.S. confidence that Canada is committed to mutually beneficial trade".

Thirty-two-page complaint by Canada cites United States investigations of products from countries around the world, with decisions that date back to 1996.

In what reads like the pee dossier of trade policy, Canada accuses the United States of 188 different violations of World Trade Organization policies going back to the mid-1990s.

However, Canada's strategy is "particularly unwise", Warner told Xinhua.

"In a normal situation you wouldn't expect this to impact the long-term trading relationship that we've got under NAFTA", he said. Chapter 19 allows the parties to bypass the national judicial system to challenge countervailing and anti-dumping duties.

In short, Canada's complaint challenges the United States' use of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties, pointing to almost 200 instances where it believes the US isn't doing things in accordance with the rules.

Across the negotiating table, the United States argues that chapter 19 is unnecessary because the WTO exists, (it did not when NAFTA came into force) and because the United States system is not biased in favour of USA firms.

As with the softwood lumber dispute, workers on both sides of the border are harmed by the trade war.

"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. The association applauded the efforts of Democratic and Republican U.S. Senators, and the publishers of over one thousand small and medium-sized U.S. newspapers who have demanded that Washington not impose countervailing and anti-dumping duties on Canadian newsprint.

The WTO revealed on Wednesday that Canada had filed a complaint last month accusing the USA of unfairly imposing countervailing and anti-dumping duties, not only on Canadian softwood lumber but also on goods from many other countries.

If Mr. Trump triggers Article 2205, it will give Canada and Mexico six months notice of the United States' intent to withdraw from NAFTA.