The Canadian Ministry of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade has sought to resolve the issue of safeguard tariffs imposed by the US on solar products going to the country from Canada. Pictured is the skyline of Toronto from across the lake in Ontario, Canada. (Photo Credit: www.goodfreephotos.com)
- Canada has called the continued safeguard tariffs of the US on its solar products as unwarranted and illegal
- The tariffs in place since January 2018 have led to the decline of solar imports from Canada to the US by around 82%
- Canada has threatened to request the establishment of a dispute settlement panel to adjudicate the matter under CUSMA if the US does not agree to mutual consultation on the matter
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A Canadian government entity has approached its counterpart in the US to complain about the continued, ‘unwarranted’ and ‘illegal’ safeguard tariffs on solar products made in Canada, seeking consultations as first steps in the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) dispute settlement process.
In a statement issued by the Canadian Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, Mary Ng said the tariffs are unwarranted and clearly violate the provisions and spirit of CUSMA.
Calling itself a trusted partner to the US, Canada called out to its neighbor to work together through cross-border climate action to attract investment in the North American economy, cut pollution, strengthen supply chains, and grow jobs for people.
“Canada will always stand up for its workers and against unjustified trade actions. If Canada and the United States are not able to resolve this action through consultations, Canada may request the establishment of a dispute settlement panel to adjudicate the matter,” warned the minister.
Solar products from Canada have been under 30% US safeguard tariffs since January 2018, leading to as much as 82% decline in export of these to the US according to the ministry (see Trump Slaps 30% Tariff On Imported Cells & Modules).
The US International Trade Commission (USITC) in an investigation concluded in September 2017 found solar imports of cells, modules, panels and laminates from all countries including Canada have caused serious injury to the US solar industry, while ruling that Canadian imports were not a substantial share of total imports and did not contribute to the serious injury. “As a result, the United States was required under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) (and now CUSMA) to exclude Canada from its safeguard tariffs on solar products,” shared the ministry.
Canada says its attempts to resolve the issue under North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) were blocked by the US, and now under CUSMA, the US is unable to block dispute settlement proceedings requested by other CUSMA parties.