Japan to bring Canada to WTO over provincial renewable energy subsidy

From Kyoto News International (Sept 11th 2010):

Japan will file a complaint with the World Trade Organization against Canada possibly next week, saying it should not allow the provincial government of Ontario to treat local firms favorably in subsidizing the cost of solar and wind power generation, government sources said Saturday.

Japan believes the subsidy program under which Ontario buys electricity produced with solar and wind power equipment that incorporate certain levels of locally produced components contravenes WTO rules that ban unfair treatment of import products, except tariffs, the sources said.
The Ontario government has been running the program partly to expedite environmentally friendly power generation on the strength of renewable energy such as sun rays and wind power.
Japan is taking the action with the Geneva-based global trade referee to keep Japanese manufacturers of relevant equipment from being placed at a disadvantageous position in their competition with Canadian rivals, they said.
With the envisioned litigation, Japan also wants to prevent protectionist moves from gaining momentum across the world in the name of conserving the environment, they said.
Japan has been asking Canada to review the subsidy program, but the Canadian side has remained reluctant to comply with the request, prompting Tokyo to decide to bring its complaint to the WTO, the sources said.
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