During the May 21st session of WTO´s (World Trade Organization) Council for Trade in Goods, Japanese representatives expressed their government’s concern about alleged local-content requirements included in the Canadian province of Ontario´s renewable-energy programme and requested explanations from the Canadian government regarding the consistency of these requirements with WTO agreements dealing with equal treatment for imports, including the Agreement on Trade-Related Investment Measures (TRIMs). The EU (European Union) and the US (United States) adhered to Japan’s expression of concern.
Responding immediately, the Canadian delegation agreed to review the programme and forward the request for information to Ontario´s authorities.
Canada was also the questioned by officials from Chinese Taipei about alleged discriminatory treatment against Chinese Taipei imports: Canada has apparently imposed higher tariffs on imports coming from this territory than on goods coming from other developing economies with even higher levels of per capita GDP. Canada responded that its government policy is to keep low tariffs, including zero tariffs on manufacturing inputs and machinery. Such measures, the Canadian delegation sustained, benefit all Canada´s trading partners equally, including Chinese Taipei.
On other matters, the Council for Trade in goods approved the extension of various members´ deadlines and waivers such as the EU´s deadlines for tariff negotiations with other members on its latest enlargements, and Argentina´s waiver regarding the introduction of the 1996 changes to the Harmonized System.
The Chairman of the Council for Trade in goods, Ambassador Anthony Mothae Maruping (Lesotho), informed members of the notification to the Committee on Regional Trade Agreements (FTA) of two new regional trade agreements, namely the Honduras/El Salvador - Chinese Taipei FTA; and the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) – Australia/New Zealand FTA.
The Council will meet again on July 5th.