Canada files World Trade Organization and North American Free Trade Agreement litigation in response to illegal U.S. tariffs


The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement:

“Canada will always defend Canadian workers and Canadian interests against protectionist actions that undermine the integrity of the global trading system.

“On top of the retaliatory measures announced yesterday, the Government of Canada today requested WTO consultations with the United States regarding its imposition of punitive tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium from Canada, and more generally, on the United States’ improper use of national security pretexts for protectionist purposes. 

“As a key NORAD and NATO ally of the United States, and as the number-one customer of American steel, Canada views the U.S. trade restrictions imposed on Canadian steel and aluminum as absolutely unacceptable.

“These unilateral tariffs, imposed under a false pretext of safeguarding U.S. national security, are inconsistent with the United States’ international trade obligations and WTO rules. 

“Canada will closely collaborate with the European Union, which also filed a WTO challenge today, as well as with other like-minded countries, on opposing these tariffs.

“Canada also intends to request the establishment of a NAFTA Chapter 20 panel to address the United States’ violation of NAFTA rules. That request will also be filed today.

“It is entirely inappropriate to view any trade with Canada as a national security threat to the United States. Canada is a safe and secure supplier of fairly traded steel and aluminum for U.S. defence and security. Canada is recognized in U.S. law as a part of the U.S. National Technology and Industrial Base related to national defence.

“Canada is a strong proponent of the rules-based international trading system, which ensures the predictability of global trade.” 

Associated links


Adam Austen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Media Relations Office 
Global Affairs Canada
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