Customs Tariff Section 59(2): A “Canadian” 301?
Journal of International Economic Law
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It is sometimes said that every country has a S. 301, and Canada is no exception. Section 59(2) of Canada’s Customs Tariff1 allows the Canadian government to take a broad range of measures against foreign goods and services in order to enforce Canada’s rights under a trade agreement or to counter discriminatory foreign practices with an adverse effect on Canada’s trade. The provision is clearly retaliatory in nature. Here, however, the similarities with S. 301 end. Canada’s unilateral trade remedy may indeed be 301-like, but the conditions under which it exists are fundamentally distinct. A comparison of the two statutes helps to illustrate the difference. At the same time Canada has never seen unilateral retaliation as particularly useful, so that any discussion of S. 59(2) and its related legislation must concentrate more on theory than reality.