Canada launches WTO complaint against U.S. on glossy paper duties

GENEVA (Reuters) - Canada has filed a complaint against the United States over anti-dumping duties imposed on imports of supercalendered paper, which is used in glossy magazines and catalogues, the World Trade Organization (WTO) said on Thursday.

In its proceeding filed on Wednesday, Canada said the so-called countervailing measures were inconsistent with WTO rules.

The United States now has 60 days in which to settle the dispute through bilateral talks, after which Canada could ask the WTO to adjudicate on the case.

Countries impose countervailing duties - punitively high import tariffs - when they suspect another country of gaining an unfair trade advantage through subsidies.

Andrew Bates, spokesman of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) said that the United States was evaluating the request.

“The U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. International Trade Commission have both determined that Canada has been providing export-related subsidies to their supercalendered paper industry to the detriment of American manufacturers and producers,” he said by email from Washington.

The United States had asked Canada to remove the subsidies for two years, but Ottawa refused, Bates said.

“It is ironic now for Canada to be invoking WTO remedies to address a legitimate U.S. response to massively large Canadian provincial subsidies that caused harm to U.S. companies and workers.”

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Mark Trevelyan