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

The Canadian government has launched a sweeping World Trade Organization complaint against a litany of US trade practices, alleging almost 200 violations of WTO rules by USA investigators reaching back more than 20 years, according to documents published Wednesday.

Canada is in essence arguing that the American use of anti-dumping and countervailing duties violates global trade rules.

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

This comes as expectations grow in Ottawa that President Donald Trump will soon announce the United States intends to pull out of the North American free-trade agreement.

In other words, Canada is trying to show that the United States cannot have it both ways; they can't eliminate chapter 19 and disregard the WTO's authority to judge the USA trade remedy system and its decisions.

"Canada's new request for consultations at the WTO is a broad and ill-advised attack on the U.S. trade remedies system", said U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerMORE in a statement.

The complaint covers actions taken against not just Canada but countries all around the world, from Japan to South Africa.

If these countries can defend and promote their own interests, why shouldn't Canada? He explained, "Even if Canada succeeded on these groundless claims, other countries would primarily benefit, not Canada".

Lighthizer also issued a cloaked warning that may be aimed at continued NAFTA talks.

He further called Canada's accusations "unfounded" and said that they "could only lower United States confidence" that its neighbor is committed to mutually beneficial trade.

Canadian newsprint joined softwood lumber as the latest commodity to incur USA import duties, with up to 9 percent levied on various companies.

"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", Yurkovich said in a statement.

Anticipating an imminent US retreat from NAFTA, the Canadian government has chose to go on the offensive in managing its trade relations with our Southern neighbor.

Canada is the largest exporter of newsprint in the world.

Tuesday's decision prompted Canada's foreign ministry put out a statement calling the move disappointing and "unjustified" (and noting, correctly, that "any duties will have a direct and negative impact on ‎U.S. newspapers, especially those in small cities and towns, ‎and result in job losses in the American printing sector‎").

"Any duties will have a direct and negative impact on US newspapers, especially those in small cities and towns, and result in job losses in the American printing sector", the ministers said in a joint release.

But it also goes well beyond Canada-U.S. softwood lumber spats, citing alleged worldwide trade breaches by the U.S. against a host of imported products, from Argentine lemon juice to frozen shrimp from India.

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