The Canadian government is adding another trade conflict to the growing heap of formal disputes with the United States.
On Monday, Canada officially requested the creation of a NAFTA panel under Chapter 20 of the deal to consider whether the Trump administration is violating the North American Free Trade Agreement by hitting Canadian-made solar panels with 30 per cent tariffs in February 2018 as part of a move against foreign imports of these products.
The Canadian government noted the United States International Trade Commission has concluded that solar panels imported from Canada are not a source of injury to U.S. industry and had recommended Canada be excluded from the safeguard measures Washington took against imports of this product.
The Canadian government Monday called the U.S. tariffs “unfair and illegal” and said it looks to trading partners such as the United States to “uphold their international trade obligations.”
The NAFTA is currently being renegotiated but talks have been held up since the July 1 Mexico elections that picked a new president. U.S. President Donald Trump has targeted Chapter 20, the state-to-state dispute settlement process, with American negotiators proposing to turn it into merely an advisory body.