The Trudeau government has asked for a NAFTA review of a Trump administration tariff on solar panel cells, saying the 30-per-cent charge is illegal and unfair.
The Liberal government considers the latest trade challenge a part of its broader defense of the international-rules based trading order — something U.S. President Donald Trump is regularly accused of undermining with his “America First” protectionist policies.
The request Monday for a review under NAFTA’s chapter 20 provision comes one day after Mexico’s president-elect publicized a letter to Trump, calling for a reboot of the talks towards a new three-way continental trade pact.
Global Affairs Canada said the tariff has hurt workers in the clean energy sector on both sides of the border.
“Canada is a strong supporter of rules-based international trade and looks to its trade partners to also uphold their international obligations,” the department said in a statement.