A delegate waits for the start of the closing ceremony at the World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Dec. 13. The Canadian complaint filed to the World Trade Organization alleges that American use of anti-dumping and countervailing duties violate global trade rules. (NATACHA PISARENKO / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE PHOTO)

Canada launches global trade complaint against U.S.

Canada launches global trade complaint vs U.S. over use of duties

Canada has launched a wide-ranging attack against U.S. trade practices in a broad international complaint over American use of punitive duties.

It has asked the World Trade Organization to examine the use of duties in the United States, alleging that they violate international law for five reasons. The complaint was filed last month but released Wednesday, with some coincidental timing: the U.S. has just announced duties as high as nine per cent on Canadian paper.

The move follows a series of similar penalties as the U.S. alleges unfair trade practices from Canada in the form of softwood lumber and Bombardier subsidies.

Related: U.S. lumber dispute drives B.C.’s latest trade effort in Asia

The Canadian complaint alleges that American use of anti-dumping and countervailing duties violates global trade rules.

It says the U.S. levies penalties beyond what’s allowed by the WTO, improperly calculates rates and unfairly declares penalties retroactive, while also limiting evidence from outside parties. It also accuses the U.S. of using a trade-panel voting system that’s biased against foreigners.

The 32-page complaint cites dozens of examples unrelated to Canada, including 122 cases where the U.S. imposed duties on foreign countries.

Related: Trump: Canada being “difficult” in NAFTA talks

The disputes over paper, lumber and aerospace are occurring just as the countries prepare to meet in Montreal later this month for a potentially pivotal round of NAFTA negotiations.

“This isn’t going to calm passions in Montreal,” said Canada-U.S. trade lawyer Mark Warner.

The Canadian complaints might have some merit, and Canada is well within its rights to complain to the WTO, Warner said. But he questioned the strategic logic of antagonizing the Trump administration in the midst of NAFTA talks.

He called it surprising that Canada is citing foreign cases in its complaint even as it engages in sensitive negotiations against an administration that already dislikes the WTO.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Five employees arrested at medical marjuana dispensary

Nelson police execute search warrant at Vernon Street store

Leafs fall 5-2 as Dynamiters even series

Game 5 will be played Thursday in Kimberley

Police investigating disturbing incident

Photos taken of woman in bathroom, posted to web

‘When you walk in this country, it will know your footsteps’

Gathering of American Sinixt in Nelson seen as ‘coming home’

Leafs survive onslaught to stun Dynamiters in Game 3

Nelson’s 4-3 win Monday gives it a 2-1 series lead against Kimberley

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

Kootenay Music Award winners announced

The annual awards event is sponsored by Kootenay Co-op Radio

Family Jam Night at South Nelson School

Teacher Carmen Giffen delights parents and kids with multi-generational music making

COLUMN: Seven months and counting!

It’s time for candidates to Google search

$100,000 boosts core services in the Kootenays

Mungall makes announcement that benefits Nelson Innovation Centre

COLUMN: Nancy Greene’s victory parade in Nelson

A look back at events from March, 1968

Bantam provincials open in Nelson

The Nelson Leafs are one of nine teams vying for the title

LETTER: Why does peace lecture series include someone who squelches free speech?

Author Mark Bray speaks as part of the Mir Centre for Peace this week.

Music, food and drinks at Savoy’s grand opening party

New look for historic hotel after five years of renos

Most Read