Fri, Jun 27, 2014 - Page 13 News List

Taiwan complains to WTO over Canada

AFP, GENEVA

Taiwan has launched a WTO challenge to Canada over duties on steel which Ottawa claims is being dumped on its market, sources said yesterday.

Taiwan informed the WTO that it had made a formal request for consultations with Canada, which is the first step towards a full-blown legal challenge at the Geneva-based body. Under the rules of the 160-economy WTO, members have 60 days to try to resolve their differences in direct talks. Thereafter, the aggrieved party has the option of calling for the creation of a panel to rule on the dispute.

At issue are duties that Canada has slapped on imports of steel carbon welded pipes from Taiwan. The WTO polices global trade accords in an effort to offer its member economies a level playing field. Members have the right to impose extra duties when goods are being “dumped” on them or sold at below market prices to grab business.

However, hand in hand with that right, they are obliged to prove that their domestic producers are suffering as a result of dumping, and that the duties are not simply being deployed to protect them against foreign competitors.

The WTO’s disputes settlement process can last for years, due to appeals, counter-appeals and compliance assessments. Its panels of independent trade and legal experts can authorise retaliatory trade measures if they rule in favor of a plaintiff.

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