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Canada  

U.S. complains about tariffs

The United States fired back Monday at the Canadian government's retaliatory tariffs on American imports by launching a formal challenge with the World Trade Organization.

The Trump administration also called countermeasures aimed at the U.S. by Canada and other trading partners "completely without justification under international rules."

The federal Liberal government introduced reciprocal duties earlier this month on some U.S. imports after the White House slapped Canada and others with tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has called Washington's metal tariffs absurd and illegal because they've been applied on the premise that Canada represents a national security threat to the U.S. Ottawa's response has been $16.6-billion worth of countermeasures on imports of American steel, aluminum and consumer products.

The U.S. took a fresh step Monday in the trade fight by filing separate disputes at the WTO against Canada — as well as the European Union, China, Mexico and Turkey — over each jurisdiction's set of counter-tariffs on imports of American goods.

"The actions taken by the president are wholly legitimate and fully justified as a matter of U.S. law and international trade rules," U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement.

"Instead of working with us to address a common problem, some of our trading partners have elected to respond with retaliatory tariffs designed to punish American workers, farmers and companies."

Lighthizer added Monday that the countermeasures recently applied against the U.S. appear to breach WTO commitments. Resolving international trade disputes is a key role of the WTO.

"The United States will take all necessary actions to protect our interests, and we urge our trading partners to work constructively with us on the problems created by massive and persistent excess capacity in the steel and aluminum sectors," he said.

 



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