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Canada has launched a formal World Trade Organization dispute against the United States over a wide range of U.S. import and export policies, according to a filing that Canada published Wednesday.

Canada takes United States to WTO over protectionist trade practices
Canada has launched a formal World Trade Organization dispute against the United States over a wide range of U.S. import and export policies, according to a filing that Canada published Wednesday.
By Rick Docksai
Contributor
Jan 12, 2018

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WASHINGTON D.C. — Canada has launched a trade dispute against the United States on behalf of the entire world, according to a World Trade Organization filing that the Canadian government published Wednesday. The filing, which Canada first submitted to the WTO last month, challenges nearly 200 examples of import tariffs, price dumping, and other policies that it says give U.S.-made goods unfair advantages over their competitors.

Almost all of the cases concern other trading partners, such as China, Brazil, India, and the European Union. U.S. officials under President Trump have angered China, for example, by threatening to expand the use of tariffs on Chinese goods.

The U.S. government has enacted tariffs on many foreign-made goods over the years to protect U.S. businesses' market shares, but Trump has expanded the use of tariffs to more categories of goods, including a recent import tariff on Canadian softwood lumber. WTO rules only allow tariffs under strict conditions, which the Canadian filing argues the United States has violated.

The document also contains objections to the way the United States calculates pricing. It charges the U.S. government with "price dumping" and unfairly lowering its exports' prices, which also runs against WTO rules.

U.S. trade representativeRobert Lighthizer slammed the complaint as an "ill-advised attack on the U.S. trade remedies system." Lighthizer added that pursuing the claims would bring Canada harm in the long run.

"Canada's claims are unfounded and could only lower U.S. confidence that Canada is committed to mutually beneficial trade," Lighthizer said in statement. "Canada is acting against its own workers' and businesses' interests."