Canada files almost 200 trade complaints against US

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"Canada considers the measures relating to US anti-dumping or countervailing duty investigations, reviews or other proceedings are inconsistent with USA obligations under the WTO's Anti-Dumping Agreement, the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 and the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes", the WTO said in a statement.

Canada has filed a comprehensive complaint with the World Trade Organization accusing the United States of breaking global trade rules. USA trade remedies ensure that trade is fair by counteracting dumping or subsidies that are injuring US workers, farmers, and manufacturers.

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Canada appeared to be mounting a case on behalf of the rest of the world, since it cited nearly 200 examples of alleged US wrongdoing, nearly all of them concerning other trading partners, such as China, India, Brazil and the European Union.

"Canada's claims are unfounded and could only lower US confidence that Canada is committed to mutually beneficial trade", he said. "As such, BC Lumber Trade Council fully supports the Government of Canada's efforts to have the WTO review these trade practices".

The move drew a sharp rebuke from Donald Trump's trade czar and came amid reports that Canadian government officials say there's an increasing likelihood the president will withdraw from the three-nation North American Free Trade Agreement.

"These rates tabled lby the USA on uncoated groundwood paper represent the third action that stands to hurt hard working men and women in our mill communities across Canada", says Derek Nighbor, CEO, Forest Products Association of Canada.

The thinly veiled threat gives new rise to concerns for positive progress in the ongoing NAFTA renegotiations ahead of the next round of talks set for January 23 in Montreal.

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

The complaint is "certainly not typical", said Greg Kanargelidis, an worldwide trade lawyer at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP.

A massive question is left unanswered: why did Canada file this request at the WTO while the NAFTA renegotiations are underway (and nothing short of arduous)? "But with the Trump administration being relatively new, and because of the protectionist noises we've been hearing from them, it's not at all clear what sort of reaction the USA might have".

He said it could be another step toward what he says is a nightmare scenario for the NAFTA talks, which is that the Americans call a halt to those negotiations and talk separately with Mexico in hopes of signing a bilateral deal before the Mexican elections later this year and USA midterm Congressional elections this fall.

"This has been a chronic problem for us", he said.

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