Canada's tough guy move at WTO will gain U.S. respect, says trade minister

International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne says Canada will gain respect from the United States by taking a tough approach to what it considers unfair American trade practices.

Champagne says countries that stand firm in defence of their industries and their workers are respected.

Champagne's assertion comes a day after it was revealed that Canada has initiated a wide-ranging attack at the World Trade Organization on America's use of punitive duties.

The move was denounced by the U.S. and had some trade experts worrying it could derail already tense negotiations to renew the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says the WTO challenge is about the long-simmering trade dispute with the U.S. over softwood lumber and is entirely separate from the NAFTA talks.

She says Canada will bring some new, ``creative'' ideas to the sixth round of NAFTA negotiations later this month in Montreal, in response to some of the ``more unconventional'' U.S. proposals.