If Canada succeeds in a new World Trade Organization challenge of six U.S. trade remedy practices, it will harm itself -- reducing U.S. trust in Canada as a trading partner -- and help China by undermining U.S. rules designed to prevent Chinese products from surging into the U.S., U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in response to Canada’s request for consultations at the WTO.
[Jack Caporal | January 10, 2018 | Inside US Trade]
Canada, in a consultation request dated Dec. 20 and circulated to other members and made public on Jan. 10, alleges the U.S. maintains six measures related to anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations, reviews and proceedings that breach its WTO commitments. Canada cites nearly 200 cases in which the U.S. applied the six measures, although a number of them involve other trading partners -- including China.
The six U.S. measures are the liquidation of final AD and CVD duties at rates non-compliant with WTO rulings adverse to the U.S., and failure to issue refunds in those cases; preliminary affirmative critical circumstances determinations that result in the retroactive collection of provisional AD and CVD duties for 90 days before preliminary determinations; the treatment of “export controls” on inputs to a product under remedy investigation as financial contributions in CVD cases; the partial exclusion of government prices that are higher than the benchmark price when calculating benefit in CVD cases; the “effective closure of the evidentiary record” in AD and CVD cases prior to the preliminary determination; and the so-called “tie vote” rule at the U.S. International Trade Commission.
Lighthizer blasted the consultation request as a “broad and ill-advised attack on the U.S. trade remedies system,” he said in a statement. “U.S. trade remedies ensure that trade is fair by counteracting dumping or subsidies that are injuring U.S. workers, farmers, and manufacturers. Canada’s claims are unfounded and could only lower U.S. confidence that Canada is committed to mutually beneficial trade."
“Canada is acting against its own workers’ and businesses’ interests. Even if Canada succeeded on these groundless claims, other countries would primarily benefit, not Canada,” Lighthizer added.