The US can't have its WTO and disregard it too

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U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, seen here December 11, called Canada's request on Wednesday "a broad and ill-advised attack on the U.S. trade remedies system". "It's nearly like Canada is fighting this on behalf of the global community ..."

Details of the WTO filing released Wednesday referenced almost 200 instances Canada claims the Americans breeched global trade rules by imposing anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties.

A wide-ranging trade complaint has been filed by Canada against the USA, accusing it of breaking worldwide trade rules. "Canada and the USA share a longstanding and important relationship, but in the face of these unfounded trade actions it's important that our government defends Canada's interests".

The 32-page filing not only accuses the US of improperly imposing duties on Canadian products but also on those of other trading partners, including Brazil, China, EU and India.

"These duties are unwarranted and without merit and we 100 per cent support the federal government's WTO filing position".

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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. "It's an escalation for sure", said Prof. 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.

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.

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 us midterm Congressional elections this fall.

"This isn't going to calm passions in Montreal", Warner said.

Mr. Bown said aggressively taking on the United States at the WTO is also something of an insurance policy for Canada: If NAFTA is torn up, or if the revised deal guts its dispute-settlement mechanisms - which the United States has proposed - Ottawa will have to rely on the WTO to pursue Washington. The Canadian government is preparing for the possibility that Trump will withdraw from NAFTA, senior officials say, though they aren't entirely convinced that he will.

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