Canada Goes Toe-to-Toe With US Trade Policy

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Canada has filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) amid a dispute with the US, a day after its newsprint became the latest product to be slapped with import duties by Washington.

A spokesman for Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said this challenge is tied to Canada's latest fight with the United States over softwood lumber.

In Canada's case, the nation is alleging the USA violated WTO rules with duties imposed on Canadian softwood lumber. If the Trump administration undermines the WTO and even comes to reject it, then Canada is plenty justified in insisting to keep chapter 19 in NAFTA, since there would not be an alternative independent institution to deal with national countervailing and anti-dumping duties in North America.

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.

A Reuters exclusive released Wednesday citing two government sources, said Canada is growing more and more convinced that President Trump will pull the USA out of the NAFTA deal altogether. The negotiations certainly aren't unfamiliar with shows of muscle or grandstanding; think of the Trump administration's outrageous NAFTA demands, the threat to leave NAFTA, the softwood lumber dispute, the Boeing-Bombardier dispute and most recently, the newspaper dispute. "I wonder why would you bring this complaint now".

Canada has filed a comprehensive complaint with the World Trade Organization accusing the United States of breaking worldwide trade rules.

He called it surprising that Canada is taking its action against an administration that already dislikes the WTO, and has sabotaged the appointment of new WTO judges.

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According to a WTO filing dated December 20 and published on January 10, Canada has launched a trade dispute against the USA challenging its repeated use of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy trade remedies.

The highly technical 32-page complaint lists 122 trade enforcement actions undertaken by the Trump administration, dealing with imports ranging from Chinese steel to pasta made in Italy.

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.

He added that Canada is against its own interests and would not benefit even if the case succeeds.

"For example, if the USA removed the orders listed in Canada's complaint, the flood of imports from China and other countries would negatively impact billions of dollars in Canadian exports to the United States, including almost $9 billion in exports of steel and aluminium products and more than $2.5 billion in exports of wood and paper products".

While Canada continues to hope for the best from the NAFTA renegotiation, Freeland says it is also preparing for the worst-case scenario - a decision by President Donald Trump to withdraw from the three-way, continental trade pact.

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