Canada Taking U.S. to WTO, Could It Put NAFTA Negotiations in Jeopardy

January 12, 2018 11:30 AM

Trade relations between the U.S. and Canada were shaken earlier this week when Canada filed an un-NAFTA-related complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Canada is upset after American duties were placed on lumber exports from Canada, saying these actions are against WTO rules.

According to the New York Times, the case was filed on Dec. 20 and was made public on Jan. 10, citing disciplinary tariffs the U.S. places on another country when they dump products, or sell them at unfairly low prices abroad.

Canadian officials are expressing concern that President Trump will give notice of withdrawal from the pact. In order to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement, the president would need to give six months’ notice to Canada and Mexico.

“There’s a lot of discussion in Washington about what that withdraw process would look like, who can or who needs to be involved to make it happen—it’s murky,” said Darci Vetter, chief agricultural negotiator for the U.S. Trade Representative.

NAFTA talks will begin again on Jan. 23 in Montreal, and trade leaders from all three countries are optimistic talks will end before the Mexican presidential election in July.

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