Canada takes US to WTO in vast trade complaint
GENEVA, Jan 11: : Canada has launched a vast dispute against its southern neighbour before the World Trade Organization (WTO), accusing Washington of breaching dozens of international trade rules, according to a document published Wednesday.
In a filing to the WTO dated December 20, but only published Wednesday, Canada requested so-called "consultations" with the United States over its use of anti-dumping and countervailing duties.
Washington frequently slaps such punitive tariffs on imports it deems to be subsidised or otherwise priced in a way that leads to unfair competition, including announcing late on Tuesday charges of up to 10 per cent on paper used to print newspapers and books.
These duties are permitted under international trade rules as long as they adhere to strict conditions, and disputes over their use are often brought before the WTO's Dispute Settlement Body.
The Canadian complaint pointed to a slew of US "measures relating to anti-dumping or countervailing duty investigations, reviews or other proceedings, which are inconsistent with its WTO obligations." In its complaint, Ottawa listed more than 100 examples of wrongdoings it alleged that Washington had committed in its dealings not only with Canada but also with a long line of other trade partners, including China, India, Japan, Mexico, South Africa and the European Union.
Among other things, the document reiterated a long-running Canadian complaint over US anti-dumping duties imposed on Canadian softwood lumber imports.
Washington reacted angrily to the filing.
"Canada's new request for consultations at the WTO is a broad and ill-advised attack on the US trade remedies system," US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement. -AFP