Japan files trade dispute over Ontario green energy act

The Ottawa Citizen

GENEVA — Japan has initiated a trade dispute against Canada related to renewable energy equipment in the province of Ontario, the World Trade Organization confirmed on Monday.

The Japanese mission to the WTO said the dispute centres on guaranteed long-term pricing for solar and wind generators made with a certain percentage of locally-produced components.

Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, launched an incentive programme for renewable energy producers last October, aiming to create jobs and eliminate coal-fired power generators.

Tokyo believes that the pricing guarantees offered by Ontario in the wind and solar sectors constitute subsidies that violate Canada’s obligations under international trade law.

The request for consultations by Tokyo is the first step in a WTO dispute. If the two sides do not reach an agreement on their own, a WTO panel would be set up to arbitrate the dispute in a process that could eventually lead to retaliation.

9 thoughts on “Japan files trade dispute over Ontario green energy act

  1. I am not sure how to interpret this. It is good news, is it not?

  2. Am I correct in thinking this could potentially hurt the wind industry scammers big time?

  3. Japan is reacting to the protectionist policy of Ontario Liberals to demand a % of local content in their Giant Fan, smart grid network.

    Just like the action of Danny Williams, the Federal Government is on the hook for the provinces.

    Same taxpayer to pay for corporate goodies.

  4. Now McGuinty has “pissed off the International Community” along with destroying his own people’s lives he is now in violation of Treaties that bind multi national firm’s business decisions.

    This guy is soon to “disappear” from his office and leave us all hanging from a very shaky tree being on the hook for massive legal costs and trade sanctions!

    Thanks Dalton, we hardly even knew ya!

  5. “Japan said it continues to have concerns about the domestic-content requirements of a renewable energy project in Ontario, Canada, despite its receipt of written answers from Canada to its questions. Canada said it is working with the Ontario provincial government to meet the concerns of trade partners. ”

    This from the July 5 Document. Next meeting is scheduled for Nov. 25, 2010.

    http://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news10_e/good_05jul10_e.htm

    Did something else happen? Is this a recycle of news from July?

    “The next regular meeting of the Goods Council is scheduled for 25 November 2010. “

  6. There was a comment in one of the papers that the US is also enacting legislation against wind and solar products produced in Canada for similar reasons.

  7. Articles on trade talks with the EU also indicate concerns on their end.
    There was never any question that if the FITs did attract any investment sanctions would shut down any hopes of exporting product.
    My dream scenario has Michigan, New York and Minnesota banning imports of electricity from Ontario. That would save us about $1 million every day in subsidizing exported electricity

  8. My point is a simple one. Find an “additional” announcement from the WTO. I could not.

    I do not believe that anything new has transpired — or else the announcement has not even been made. But… I vote for nothing new till proven otherwise.

    Once “Consultations” start, the action has started. Consultations started in May, certainly there is hard evidence of them by July.

    So here is the question. Why does Reuters have an article now? There is nothing there that was not known in July certainly — and you could say even in May.

    My guess is that Reuters (someone there) has been “encouraged” to follow up this story. Remember that Sharp (Japan) is losing sales.

    Also note that Ontario has slowed down the process. Was this to give Samsung time to initiate “something” in Ontario?

    This looks like a typical ploy to bring attention and bring political pressure to bear. Very Japanese — from my time in manufacturing…

    fwiw — that’s my take.

    When WTO issues another notice that the Goods Council met in September…. then maybe.

  9. Just in case I am not clear. I think that this is the “Story of the Year” here in Ontario and a classic example of Japanese Hardball trading methods.

    Do they have a case? I am not sure. There is of course no reason that they cannot start a plant here in Ontario and play according to the current rules.

    Will they give us access to Japanese markets for anything other than raw materials? That’s my question.

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