Canada filed a lawsuit Friday against the United States at the World Trade Organization (WTO) after the US decision to impose taxes on Canadian imports of steel and aluminum.
“These tariffs, imposed unilaterally under the pretext that they guarantee the national security of the United States, do not respect US international trade obligations or WTO rules,” said Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland .
In addition to the European Union, the US government also decided on Thursday not to extend the temporary exemption granted to Canada and Mexico for the imposition of taxes of 25% on steel and 10% on imported aluminum. United States.
In retaliation, Justin Trudeau’s government decided to impose US $ 16.6 billion in customs duties on the entry of US goods.
“In addition to retaliatory measures,” Chrystia Freeland asked the WTO to “hold consultations with the United States on the imposition of punitive tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from from Canada “.
The WTO is called by Canada to rule on “US misuse of national protectionist excuses for protectionist purposes” to impose taxes on Canada, Ms. Freeland added.
“Canada will work closely with the European Union,” which has also filed a WTO complaint against the United States, the Canadian minister said.
On the other hand, Canada will also ask the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) Secretariat to “set up a panel” as part of the settlement of this agreement (Chapter 20) to condemn “Violation of the rules of NAFTA by the United States”.
Engaged in a difficult renegotiation of this agreement, which came into force in 1994, Canada, the United States and Mexico are struggling to reach a new trade deal.
The imposition of taxes on steel and aluminum from Canada weakens the auto industry on the North American sub-continent, one of the sensitive sectors in the renegotiation of NAFTA.