Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Canada attacks U.S. protectionism

Canada has filed a broad challenge at the World Trade Organization to the United States’ protectionism.

It says the way the U.S. has applied anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties is not allowed under the World Trade Organization’s rules and trade agreements.

Canada has cited not only its own experiences, but also ones between the U.S. and China, India, Brazil and the European Union – a total of almost 200 examples.

Canada’s formal complaint, filed Dec. 20 and made public this week, fills 32 pages and points at 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.

I think this is the way to go - to the World Trade Organization - instead of trying to negotiate two-on-one with Mexico on the North American Free Trade Agreement.

It's also where Canada ought to be making a big push to get an updated World Trade Organization deal. Negotiators that began in 1997 came close to a deal, but hit a stalemate in 2011.

The blustering anti-trade stance taken by U.S. President Donald Trump may make this a good time for the rest of the world to try again for a WTO update because negotiations may lead to a point where the U.S. stands alone and shamed.