Canada launches global trade complaint vs U.S. over use of duties

Canada has launched a wide-ranging complaint against the United States over its trade practices.

It had asked the World Trade Organization to examine the American use of punitive duties, alleging that they violate international law for five reasons.

The complaint was filed last month but was released today, with some coincidental timing: the U.S. has just announced duties as high as nine per cent on Canadian paper.

This follows a series of similar penalties as the U.S. alleges unfair trade practices from Canada in softwood lumber and Bombardier subsidies.

The Canadian complaint alleges that American use of anti-dumping and countervailing duties violate global trade rules.

It says the U.S. levies penalties beyond what's allowed by the WTO, improperly calculates rates and unfairly declares penalties retroactive, while also limiting evidence from outside parties, and has a voting system in trade panels that's biased against foreigners.