Canada takes grievances with U.S. to WTO

OTTAWA — Canada has lodged a wide-ranging complaint against U.S. trade practices, including countervailing duties on lumber, with the World Trade Organization. Reuters noted that Canada seems to be acting as advocate for the rest of the world, as nearly all of the approximately 200 grievances cited in the December 20 filing involve other countries.

Foreign affairs minister Chrystia Freeland described the action as part of a “broader litigation” in response to “unfair and unwarranted” duties levied on Canadian softwood lumber, while U.S. trade rep Robert Lighthizer dismissed the complaints as “ill-advised”, “unfounded,” and against Canada’s own interests. WTO rules give the U.S. 60 days to negotiate a settlement, after which Canada can ask the organization to adjudicate.