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Sanctions against U.S.

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Silver

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OTTAWA (CP) - Canada is slapping millions of dollars worth of sanctions on U.S. imports in retaliation for a lingering trade irritant.

The announcement of a 15 per cent surtax on cigarettes, oysters and live swine from the United States came Thursday, just as the European Union took similar measures.

Canada is joining countries from around the world protesting a U.S. trade measure known as the Byrd amendment, which the World Trade Organization has deemed illegal.

The Byrd amendment allows American companies to keep the proceeds that Washington collects in anti-dumping disputes - something Canada and other countries complain unfairly enriches their U.S. rival firms.

"For the last four years, Canada and a number of other countries have repeatedly urged the United States to repeal the Byrd amendment," Trade Minister Jim Peterson said in a statement Thursday.

"Retaliation is not our preferred option, but it is a necessary action. International trade rules must be respected."

The highly unusual Canadian sanctions, which also cover certain types of fish, are to take effect May 1.

The EU says it will slap duties of up to 15 per cent, also on May 1, on such U.S. imports as paper, textiles, machinery and farm produce.

The 25-member EU said it took that action "in light of the continuing failure of the United States to bring its legislation in conformity with its international obligations."

Both Canada and the EU have long asked Washington to repeal the three-year-old Byrd amendment.

Last November, the WTO gave Canada and the other co-complainants the authority to retaliate.

The other countries involved include Mexico, Japan, India and Brazil.

"As large trading nations, let us not forget that the world is watching," said Peterson.

"We must send a clear message by way of our actions."
 

Steve

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Not that I am for the Byrd amendment, But as I recall by "My" countries Constitution and Declaration of Independance those in Europe and Canada have "No" say in how we settle disputes in "our" country, This is why I am against the WTO, UN, and all the other so called agreements,

Why not complain that the forign countries were dumping products on the American market at the cost of American companies? because that action was "against" the USA and "For" the benifit of the other "unfair" trading partners...

Fair and free trade is only such when it is FAIR,

Maybe if such whining nieghbors acted before the first crime of dumping thier products on our market, against the WTO was commited this could actually be worth siding against the byrd amandment, but it's like saying You can slap US, but when WE strike back it's not fair........

Maybe we should pull the UN's and WTO feeding tube as they appear brain dead and the US is thier largest contributor.... ...
 

SASH

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Just FYI Steve, 50 cents of every dollar spent in Canada goes to an American company. When you talk of fair trade, keep that in mind instead of constantly signing free trade agreements and not honoring them. How many times has the US challenged the Canadian Wheat Board and the softwood lumber industry in Canada and every time you lose and then appeal the decision over and over again. The US is a very poor one to talk about fair trade.
 

don

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this is from agriweek a few weeks ago. i think what has happened over the last six months or so indicates that bush's tactics to strongarm other countries and now with the un and world bank nominations will only isolate the states and make countries look to other alternatives besides the american option when it comes to trade or foreign policy decisions. if too many countries decide to flout wto rules it will just lead to more sanctions and trade disruptions. note that canada will have to give up some of its significant ag. policies in order for things to go forward.




U.S. COTTON SUBSIDIES ILLEGAL; PANDORA'S BOX IS OPENED
The WTO and disgruntled competitors may yet
rein in obscene American farm subsidies

It was not so much noticed when in April 2003 Brazil and a couple of small African countries brought a trade complaint to the World Trade Organization to the effect that subsidies to cotton growers under the U.S. farm bill are not WTO-legal. Even when the case was decided in Brazil's favor last September, it was widely thought impossible that so basic a part of American farm policy could be so carelessly managed as to run so completely afoul of the WTO. But when it was announced on March 5 that a U.S. appeal had failed, the case suddenly became a bunkerbuster. The precedent that has been set here threatens the most odious farm subsidies not just in the U.S. but in the European Union and in every other WTO member country.

The decision was that American farm program payments to cotton growers, even when decoupled from production, distort world trade because they induce production that would not occur on the basis of market returns alone. Until now such subsidies were put in WTO's 'green box' as purely domestic farm programs. American government payments to cotton growers were to have been capped at the 1992 level of $1.6 billion under the Uruguay Round. Instead direct payments to growers soared to $3.2 billion by 2003, together with another $1.6 billion in export credits on lenient terms. Cotton subsidies since the 2002 farm bill was passed allowed the U.S. share of the global market to double to 40%, slashing Brazil's exports by $400 million a year and further impoverishing numerous African countries. Almost 80% of U.S. cotton payments go to 10% of producers; using obvious and probably deliberate loopholes, growers can get subsidies well in excess of $1 million a year.

The WTO ruling is final and there is no further avenue for appeal. Unless the U.S. takes steps by July 1 to bring down its subsidy payments or negotiate a settlement acceptable to Brazil, Brazil will be in a position to apply prohibitive tariffs to $400 million worth of American exports annually. The U.S. can't do much by July 1.

The immediate American response, at least that of Congress, was delivered by cotton-state (Georgia) Senator Saxby Chambliss, chairman of the Senate agriculture committee. He snorted that the U.S. farm bill is WTO-legal and he had no intention of changing it. That is like getting a speeding ticket and arguing to the judge that driving 100 km/h in a 50-km zone is permitted by the traffic law. Congress is getting ready to write the 2007 farm bill amid low commodity prices and shrill demands from the farm lobby to sweeten it. Almost a year after the so-called Byrd amendment was ruled illegal by another WTO dispute panel, Congress has taken no action to repeal it; the amendment allows U.S. companies and industries which successfully appeal for tariff protection to receive some of the proceeds of duties collected at the border.

The cotton ruling established numerous grounds for similar actions against the world's biggest farm subsidizers. American corn, wheat, soybean and sugar subsidies are paid on exactly the same basis as for cotton. The EU has an even bigger program of direct farm payments. In both countries certain types of subsidies are even paid on crops that recipients no longer grow as long as they previously grew them. The most important principle established here is that subsidy payments artificially increase production and exportable volumes, with the potential to depress prices for everyone.

The case also clarified the status of the so-called 'peace clause', under which the major exporting countries agreed at the end of the Uruguay Round not to use WTO sanctions unless subsidy payments (which were supposed to decline from 1992 levels) rose above those of 1992. The clause has expired since the Brazilian trade action was initiated.

If the Americans and Europeans take any of this seriously, they have a much bigger incentive to negotiate an end to trade-distorting farm subsidies at the current Doha round. The round is staggering towards its next deadline late this year and to final completion at the end of 2006. No visible progress has been made recently in routine negotiations, mostly at WTO headquarters in Geneva. This just might give them new impetus.

For Canada this is an open doorway to attack U.S. wheat and corn subsidies, which are depressing world prices for these crops as surely as cotton payments are demolishing the cotton market. Such an action could also be reasonably extended to pork, which the U.S. can export competitively because of the massive subsidies it pays on corn. The WTO has been shown not to be so toothless after all, but it offers tools that must be used.

There is also another side. If and as the probability that a new world trade agreement can be reached increases, so do the problems facing Canadian supply-managed industries and the state trading enterprise that is the Canadian Wheat Board. If the Americans and Europeans are forced to scale down the subsidies that keep their agricultural industries prosperous in a time of deeply depressed commodity prices, they will be looking for every quid pro quo. It is to the point that Australia recently indicated that it will not support the Canadian position on the Wheat Board, including its buying and selling monopoly. The EU earlier made it clear that it will not support the Canadian concept of supply management and prohibitive duties, as it did during the Uruguay Round.
 

Silver

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Steve said:
Not that I am for the Byrd amendment, But as I recall by "My" countries Constitution and Declaration of Independance those in Europe and Canada have "No" say in how we settle disputes in "our" country, This is why I am against the WTO, UN, and all the other so called agreements,

Why not complain that the forign countries were dumping products on the American market at the cost of American companies? because that action was "against" the USA and "For" the benifit of the other "unfair" trading partners...

Fair and free trade is only such when it is FAIR,

Maybe if such whining nieghbors acted before the first crime of dumping thier products on our market, against the WTO was commited this could actually be worth siding against the byrd amandment, but it's like saying You can slap US, but when WE strike back it's not fair........

Maybew we should pull the UN's and WTO feeding tube as they appear brain dead and the US is thier largest contributor.... ...

Now thats a bunch of nonsense. First of all, if a country has no intentions of honoring the agreements it signs, then it shouldn't sign the things. Second of all, try standing on the other side of the border to see what's actually fair trade and what isn't.
Furthermore, maybe the Chinese should pull your feeding tube, and we could all watch the worlds second largest consumer become another 3rd world pity case.
 

Steve

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I guess that it is easy to ignore the "fact" that the Byrd amendment would be a mute subject had the countries that are now whining, had not first violated the WTO agreements and dumped products on the American market

By switching it to another arguement about the seperate complaint against farm subsidies is, well " a bunch of nonsense "

They are two seperate cases. In the first post dealt with the Byrd amendment. The US in that case is the country that was in the right, UNTIL, the countries that dumped the product whined, and found a part of a law that appeared to favor American companies.

In a cival lawsuit the person, who suffers the wrong is the one compensated, in a dumping case the victim is the companies that suffered business losses due to a agressive company selling a product at a cost below thier production cost. which is in violation of WTO trade agreements. to charge them a terrif to compensate the victim company is rooted in common law and part of the WTO agreements.

To say that it now gives the wronged companies an unfair trade advantage because they were the victims of another companies dumping a product, that hurt them finacially, Now thats a bunch of nonsense.



It seems that the Past arguement against US being involved in these trade agreements " the WTO wants US to amend our laws to comply with thier views" and I am against letting the UN or the WTO dictate how this country is ran.

So if you would like to address how we should spend the money that we were "Fairly entitled to " from the countries and companies that violated the WTO, instead of whining that we broke the trade agreement, I would like to hear your point.

Because we were honoring our trade agreement and were entiltled to a fair compensation we should have spent the money on a fence to keep out illigals. ( nope that would piss off Mexico)

WE should have helped Americans start new businesses, ( nope can't help out your own businesses)

Tax break ( nope might help a business)

Hell just give them back thier money that way the next time the whining countries dump products on the American market we can let our own companies fail under the UNFAIR trade agreement.

Because as I said before the first issue is that companies and countries DUMPED product in violation of the WTO. how we spent the money is whining because you don't like the fact that you did not win in this case.
 

Steve

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The WTO and disgruntled competitors may yet rein in obscene American farm subsidies

Maybe they should worry about the EU first;

"While the EU is certainly the world's worst offender when it comes to agricultural subsidies, "

"The Common Agricultural Policy
Established in 1962, the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy is the world’s biggest system of farm subsidies. The CAP accounts for an astonishing 85% of the world’s agricultural subsidies[2], and it is estimated that the cost to the world economy is $75 billion per year.[3] The chief beneficiaries in Europe are French farmers.

Why target the US subsidy programs when the EU is and has been the worst offender in world subsidies? maybe they hope to bargain more of the US business away by aligning with the EU against the US in trade agreements.

Why was the US propsal of ; ,,,

"U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick, presented an ambitious WTO agricultural proposal for radical cuts in both tariffs and subsidies that, if implemented, would reduce the average allowed farm tariffs from 62 percent to 15 percent globally. This proposal would also reduce trade-distorting subsidies by capping them at 5 percent of total agricultural production."

The same subsidies linked to total global out put would allow for countries to subsidise price supports locally as many countries already do, but place a true free trade agreement.

Becuase the same countries that are complaining about American products are either subsidising thier export or imposing high terrifs to keep thier import markets closed.

While it is easy to target the US farm subsidies keep in mind the the EU accounts for 85% of the world subsidies, leaving the US to share the other 15% with the rest of the world,

seems to me it easier to attack to the US then the real culpret.........

But we are doing two things to address the problem ,,,Cutting farm subsidies to corperate farms and fighting for real Free Trade,
 

Brad S

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So, duh, don't dump on American companies and Byrd amendment funds = zero. That would fix us dastardly Americans.


Some pussy Canadian, "Furthermore, maybe the Chinese should pull your feeding tube, and we could all watch the worlds second largest consumer become another 3rd world pity case."

Dude, when hate and ignorance are out of control, you babble like a Canadian Pussy (sorry for the redundancy).
 

Silver

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Brad S said:
So, duh, don't dump on American companies and Byrd amendment funds = zero. That would fix us dastardly Americans.


Some p***y Canadian, "Furthermore, maybe the Chinese should pull your feeding tube, and we could all watch the worlds second largest consumer become another 3rd world pity case."

Dude, when hate and ignorance are out of control, you babble like a Canadian p***y (sorry for the redundancy).

I would expect nothing less than redundancy. To look at this objectively, however, dumping may be a matter of opinion. Is it dumping because one country can produce for less than another (perhaps more productive, or efficient)? Or are they really selling below cost? Kinda depends on whose ox is being gored I guess.
And I suppose from your side the Byrd amendment may seem to be a reasonable retaliation. If it is then rip up ALL other trade agreements and lets all carry on. But those trade agreements signed by both countries I think make us both more competitive on the world market and improve standards of living on both sides of the border. And if that is true... abide by the agreements and the conflict resolution mechanisms built into them.
 

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