Photo: Drew Angerer Getty Images Agence France-Presse
The prime minister Justin Trudeau was in Washington, in October. Alone, Canada has not the means to play the big arms in the face of the american superpower.
Canada is made fun by dropping a bomb against the United States at the WTO. Now remains to be seen how this approach will serve as its business case in the short and longer term.
The news has reverberated like a thunderclap in the small, hushed world of commercial diplomacy. It is not uncommon that one country accuses another of unfair trade practices, and type of the case the most important international tribunal in the matter, that is to say, the dispute settlement mechanism of the world trade Organization (WTO). But Wednesday, there was the issue of the Canada, who accused its main trading partner, and largest economy in the world, systematically violating the rules of the WTO to the detriment of the entire international community.
The practices reported in the document of 32 pages, which cites six major types of violation are illustrated by dozens of examples relating to more than thirty countries, are not new. It’s been years that we acknowledge the United States to use its right to impose anti-dumping duties and countervailing in a dishonest way in order to disrupt his advantage in the targeted sectors, to strangle financially the foreign competition and to try to enable us companies to not take advantage of the benefits of free trade. The arrival at the White House a new government is openly protectionist and proud of the aggressive concept of trade relations is in the process, however, aggravate singularly the problem.
The unveiling this week by the WTO, the complaint filed almost a month before Canada fell on the same day as canadian government sources were running the rumor that Ottawa is a growing concern that Donald Trump put up soon to execute his threat to withdraw his country from the free trade Agreement north american (NAFTA). The canadian minister of foreign Affairs, asked by chrystia Freeland, has denied that half those rumors Thursday, saying for the umpteenth time that Canada still hopes for an agreement, but that it “is preparing for the worst,” in the renegotiation of the treaty expected to be concluded before the month of march and where the gap between the United States and its two partners, canadian and mexican does not seem to stop digging.
Call to allies
If the desire of Canada to tell Donald Trump his four truths are easy to understand, one must ask what the mouse canadian thinks it can win by going on the world stage to put this big firecracker under the elephant american !
In the short term, the Trudeau government has just realized, with the worsening of conflicts around the timber, the CSeries from Bombardier and the newspaper, that his approach, based on dialogue and conciliation with the government of Trump, didn’t work and decided to switch to plan B, advanced Thursday, a columnist for the Globe and Mail. The canadian minister of international Trade, François-Philippe Champagne, seemed to accredit this hypothesis, declaring on Thursday : “When people see that you are firm, you gain the respect. “
Only, Canada obviously did not have the means to play the big arms in the face of the american superpower. He had, however, escaped person to the WTO that the way in which his complaint was made amounted to a call for other members of the international community who would like to rally to his cause, particularly in Europe, Japan and China.
Analysts have observed that the rumours that was circulated about the probable failure of the renegotiation of NAFTA that allowed Ottawa to prepare the hearts of Canadians, but also to reassure them by saying that their government is prepared for all eventualities. One could add that they also serve as a call for help from many allies in the political and economic that the NAFTA account in the United States so that they are active and exert the maximum pressure possible on the government Trump on the eve of the sixth and extremely delicate round of negotiations in Montreal in two weeks.
In the longer term, the glow of Canada to the WTO this week brings also to the fore a multilateral approach in loss speed for several years. Until now, the Trudeau government had much left to hear that, whatever happens, both neighbors and friends north-americans might well find a commercial agreement mutually satisfactory, even if it is only two. His appeal now to the rules and arbitration of an international organization, with more than 160 member countries representing 98 % of world trade, recalls not only that the best weapon to defend yourself will never be the force, but the rule of law, but also that, in the area of trade — such as environment, terrorism, tax havens, or immigration, the problems, like their solutions, are not bilateral, but global.