Canada files complaint against US at WTO

Canada files complaint against US at WTO

Canada filed a 32-page complaint [text, PDF] against the US at the World Trade Organization (WTO) [official website] on Wednesday concerning certain laws, regulations and other measures in relation to US anti-dumping or countervailing duty investigations, reviews or other proceedings.

Canada alleges [press release] that the challenged laws, regulations and measures are inconsistent with US obligations under the WTO Anti-Dumping Agreement [text], the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM Agreement), the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade of 1994 (GATT) [PDFs] and the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes (DSU) [text].

Specifically, Canada challenges: 1) the liquidation of final anti-dumping and countervailing duties in excess of WTO-consistent rates; 2) the failure to refund cash deposits collected in excess of WTO-consistent rates; 3) retroactive provisional anti-dumping and countervailing duties following preliminary affirmative critical circumstances determinations; 4) the treatment of export controls such as export levies, export quotas, export restraints and export bans as financial contributions leading to additional improper investigations and/or countervailing duties; 5) the improper calculation of benefit in countervailing duty proceedings involving the provision of goods for less than adequate remuneration; 6) the practice of closing the evidentiary record before the preliminary determination thereby restricting interested parties from submitting factual information or other evidence, which would allow them to fully defend their interests in anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations; and 7) the inherent institutional bias present in the US International Trade Commission tie-vote provision leading to biased findings of injury or threat to injury to US industries that are inconsistent with Article X:3(a) of the GATT.

Among other things, Canada has filed the challenges under articles 1, 6.1, 6.2, 6.9, 7.4, 7.5, 9.2, 9.3, 9.3.1, 9.4, 10.1, 10.6, 11.1, 11.2, 11.3, 11.6, 18.1, and 18.4 of the Anti-Dumping Agreement, articles 1.1(a)(1), 1.1(b) 10, 12.2, 12.8, 14(d), 17.3, 17.4, 17.5, 19.1, 19.3, 19.4, 20.1, 20.6, 21.1, 21.2, 32.1 and 32.5 of the SCM Agreement, articles VI:2, VI:3 and X:3(a) of GATT, and articles 21.1 and 21.3 of the DSU.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer termed [BBC News report] Canada’s WTO filing “a broad and ill-advised attack on the US trade remedies system” adding that “Canada’s claims are unfounded and could only lower US confidence that Canada is committed to mutually beneficial trade.”

The complaint petition was filed in December and circulated to the WTO members on Wednesday. The circulation kicks off a 60-day consultation period [BBC News report]. If the matter is not resolved within the period, it is subject to adjudication by a WTO panel.