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NEWS: European Union, US join Japan in fight against Ontario’s Green Energy Act

The Globe and Mail reports this morning that, “The United States and the European Union emerged on Thursday as latest countries to say they have key commercial interests at stake and want to join the consultations on a complaint by Japan to the World Trade Organization. …The United States and the EU filed notices with the Geneva-based trade body this week. The Japanese government launched its action two weeks ago, saying Ontario’s Green Energy Act and its local procurement requirements are a ‘prohibited subsidy’ and violate international trade agreements.”

“Japan, the United States and European countries also have clean power strategies, and see Ontario’s local-content rules as a threat to their export potential. ‘The renewable energy generation sector is of key interest for the EU importers, exporters and investors,’ said the European Union submissions to the WTO. ‘Therefore the EU has a substantial trade interest in the present dispute as well as a systemic interest in the correct implementation’ of international trade agreements.”

“The Green Energy Act aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the electricity sector and create thousands ‘green energy’ jobs in emerging technologies. …Under the Ontario plan, developers who qualify for feed-in-tariff contracts must buy from local suppliers up to half of the goods and services needed. The McGuinty government says this will create manufacturing jobs. ‘Our position is that Ontario’s Green Energy Act is consistent with Canada’s international trade obligations under the WTO,’ Energy Minister Brad Duguid said in an e-mail response to The Globe. International Trade Minister Peter Van Loan has backed that position.”

To read Council of Canadians trade campaigner Stuart Trew’s recent rabble.ca op-ed ‘Japan’s WTO complaint against Canada could expose corporate attack on green jobs’, please go to http://www.rabble.ca/news/2010/09/japans-wto-complaint-against-canada-could-expose-corporate-attack-green-jobs. Our September 13 media release on Japan’s WTO challenge of the Green Energy Act is at http://canadians.org/media/trade/2010/13-Sep-10.html.

To read the full Globe and Mail article please go to http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/us-eu-join-fight-over-ontarios-green-energy-plan/article1736573/.