The United States called the complaint, which includes cases that involve a variety of exports as well as other nations such as China and Brazil, an attack on how the nation goes about using its trade enforcement system.
The 32-page complaint homed in on technical details of the U.S. trade rulebook, ranging from the U.S. treatment of export controls to the use of retroactive duties and split decisions by the six-member U.S. International Trade Commission. The complaint was filed last month but released yesterday.
It says the US levies penalties beyond what's allowed by the WTO, improperly calculates rates, and unfairly declares penalties retroactive, while also limiting evidence from outside parties.
Thirty-two-page complaint by Canada cites USA investigations of products from countries around the world, with decisions that date back to 1996.
Trade relations between the countries have experienced some stumbling points as the sides are deadlocked in unsuccessful negotiations over NAFTA, the trade pact signed by the US, Canada, and Mexico in 1994 and based on the fundamental principle of tariff-elimination across North America.
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. 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.
"This isn't going to calm passions in Montreal", Warner told The Canadian Press. "It's nearly like Canada is fighting this on behalf of the worldwide community ..."
Even so, any complaint before the WTO will take years, and the effort is further complicated by the fact that the Trump administration is blocking new appointments to the WTO's appellate body. It's practically goading the Trump administration to blow up the organization, Warner added.
Kevin Dietsch/SIPA/NewscomAmerica's trading relationship with its northern neighbor continues to deteriorate as the USA and Canada butt heads over the Trump administration's protectionism.
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer commented on the move, saying that Canada's protest against recent US trade actions in a complaint to the WTO is "a broad and ill-advised attack on the US trade remedies system".
Canada claims the U.S.is guilty of breaking three basic WTO rules: the anti-dumping agreement, another on subsidies and a third on understanding the settlement of disputes mechanism.
He further called Canada's accusations "unfounded" and said that they "could only lower U.S. confidence" that its neighbor is committed to mutually beneficial trade.