Negotiation, Not Litigation is the Way to NAFTA Modernization

Posted by on Jul 30, 2018

Rather than just negotiate NAFTA modernization, the United States is trying to use additional illegal tariffs on steel and aluminum, and now WTO litigation, to force Canada to accept its NAFTA position.  The additional tariffs on Canadian aluminum and steel are illegal because they exceed the U.S. WTO and NAFTA bound duty rates (i.e., the highest duty agreed between the Parties) and, thus, violate those Agreements. Canada retaliated against these U.S. tariffs with its...

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Steel, Aluminum, and the WTO’s Pandora’s Box – Part III

Posted by on Jun 1, 2018

On May 31, 2018 the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross announced that the section 232 tariff on steel and the 10% tariff on aluminum would go into effect June 1st with respect to imports from Canada, the EU, and Mexico. All three had been give exceptions following the March  8th decision by the U.S. president to impose these measures pursuant to section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act 1962 on the basis of...

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Steel, Aluminum, and the WTO’s Pandora’s Box – Part II

Posted by on Mar 12, 2018

On Thursday March 8th, President Trump followed through on his threat to impose tariffs on all of steel (25%) and aluminum (10%) on a global basis. The Proclamations on the two products are notable in that it aims to link the tariffs to the national security of the United States.  “The persistent threat of further closures of domestic steel production facilities and the “shrinking [of our] ability to meet national security production requirements in...

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Steel, Aluminum, and the WTO’s Pandora’s Box of National Security – Part I

Posted by on Mar 9, 2018

President Trump has followed through on his promise to impose significant tariffs on imports of steel (25%) and aluminum (10%).  Canada and Mexico were exempted in the context of the ongoing tri-lateral negotiations.  As the President put it; “… we’re going to hold off to see “see whether or not we’re making a deal on NAFTA.”  The threat of this action and then announcement that the duties will go into force within the next...

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What Does “Tweaking” NAFTA Mean for Importers and Exporters?

Posted by on Feb 16, 2017

The February 13, 2017 Washington meeting between President Trump and Prime Minister Trudeau was a success with respect to trade relations between the two countries. Rather than taking an aggressive anti-NAFTA stance, as some had feared, President Trump noted that the United States has an “outstanding trade relationship with Canada” and stated that his goal was to “tweak” the NAFTA with regard to Canadian trade. The apparent result of the meeting was an implicit...

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Geography, History, Economic, Necessity … A Comprehensive Plan, Mutually Beneficial and Advantageous to Both Sides

Posted by on Feb 10, 2017

On the eve of an official visit to Canada almost twenty years ago Canada in one of his weekly radio addresses President Ronald Reagan spoke to the American people about and his broad vision for the future. He began by quoting from President John F. Kennedy’s 1961 speech to a joint session of Parliament in Ottawa; Geography has made us neighbors. History has made us friends. Economics has made us partners. And necessity has...

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CETA Will Increase US Exports to Canada: That Should Make A President-Elect Happy

Posted by on Dec 13, 2016

Free trade is complicated business, as will soon find out US president-elect Donald Trump. NAFTA may very well be up for a major grooming, but CETA (crossing fingers now) will increase US exports to Canada and advance the balance of trade in favor of the Americans. And a healthy trade balance is a principle very dear to Mr. Trump who’s looking to restore fairness in trade deals. On the flip side, are more imports...

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Consumer and Business Groups Now Can Have a Voice in the Gypsum Board Dumping Inquiry

Posted by on Oct 27, 2016

The dumping inquiry into Gypsum Board from the United States has just been complicated by a Cabinet Order directing the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (“CITT”) to consider whether anti-dumping duties will cause economic harm to Canada and Canadian gypsum board users. As a result of the Order, the CITT must now simultaneously conduct two separate inquiries into U.S. gypsum board imports. While this requirement will make the CITT process more difficult overall, it gives...

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Woods LaFortune Submission in the SIMA Review

Posted by on Jul 13, 2016

The Department of Finance is currently conducting a review of the Special Import Measures Act (“SIMA”), the basis of Canada’s anti-dumping and countervailing duty system, and issued an Invitation to Interested Parties to submit their views on a “focused set of potential changes.” Although the SIMA review is intended to take all stakeholder interests into consideration, the issues raised in the Invitation focus on increased protection for domestic producers. For example, the Department has...

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SIMA Review? Maybe we can get the Right Balance This Time.

Posted by on May 30, 2016

The Department of Finance is seeking input on a “focused set of potential changes” to the Special Import Measures Act (SIMA)[1]. The potential changes would be made in three areas – calculation of normal values, enforcement and evidentiary standards – and would be considered from the perspective of: whether the system protects domestic producers from unfairly traded imports; whether the resulting changes would be transparent and could be effectively administered; whether the resulting changes...

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