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Statement on the Final Appellate Report of the WTO Dispute Settlement Panel on Canadian Automotive Trade Policy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, JUNE 1, 2000

The WTO appellate report released on May 31, 2000 has upheld the key findings of the dispute settlement panel’s final report issued earlier this year. These reports confirm that changes are necessary to bring Canadian automotive tariff policies related to the Auto Pact into line with international trade rules.

For Immediate Release June 1, 2000 Statement on the Final Appellate Report of the WTO Dispute Settlement Panel on Canadian Automotive Trade Policy The WTO appellate report released on May 31, 2000 has upheld the key findings of the dispute settlement panel's final report issued earlier this year. These reports confirm that changes are necessary to bring Canadian automotive tariff policies related to the Auto Pact into line with international trade rules. In practical terms, JAMA Canada continues to urge the Government of Canada to adopt trade policies that are open, transparent and non-discriminatory, with changes to ensure equal treatment for all automakers in Canada. Moreover, we urge the Canadian Government to make a commitment to remove the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) tariff on finished vehicles as soon as possible.

Since the FTA in 1989, auto tariff policy in Canada created a fragmented two-tiered industry that treated some automakers more favourably than others. In addition to being in contravention of WTO rules, this policy created negative signals for international automakers and parts manufacturers that had invested, or that might have considered investments in Canada. However, with this report, the Canadian Government is obliged to address the discriminatory aspects of the current policy, and at the same time consider the long term benefits for both automakers and consumers in Canada from the elimination of tariffs on finished vehicles. And by eliminating import duties on finished vehicles, Canada would also be matching the current 0% MFN tariff on vehicles and parts in Japan.


 

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