Canada files WTO complaint against US over trade rules


Canada has submitted an expansive complaint with the World Trade Organization, accusing the US of condition international trade rules.

The complaint challenges the ways the US investigates products for subsidies and below-cost yard sales in the US.

The US called the claims “unfounded”.

The action comes amid disputes between the two hinterlands over issues such as dairy, aircraft sales and lumber as amiably as tense efforts to renegotiate the North American free trade deal.

Canada’s 32-page beef cites US investigations of products from countries around the world, with verdicts that date back to 1996.

Among other charges, Canada asseverates the US improperly calculates rates and restricts parties from presenting mark to defend themselves, with a cut-off for supplying information that advance too early in the process.

It also accuses the US International Trade Commission of being partial, since disputes over which the body’s six commissioners are evenly partitioned automatically result in a finding.

‘Ill-advised attack’

The complaint targets a proceeding that the US has deployed frequently under President Donald Trump, who has used a protectionist stance on trade.

The US Commerce Department launched more than 80 antidumping and countervailing customs investigations last year – a 46% increase from 2016.

The investigations, which are typically triggered by squawks from private companies, can lead to steep tariffs.

This week, the Business Department announced results in other investigations – including one against Canadian newsprint makers.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer called the complaint “a broad and unwise attack on the US trade remedies system”.

He said: “Canada’s claims are groundless and could only lower US confidence that Canada is committed to mutually salubrious trade.”

Canada filed the petition with the WTO on 20 December. It was parted with the organisation’s members on Wednesday.

The complaint allows for 60 days of “consultation”. If it is not answered in that time, it is subject to adjudication by a WTO panel.

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