Tribunal Hears UPS Complaint Against Canada

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The United States has until Jan. 28 to comment in a UPS trade complaint against the Canadian government, according to a statement from the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.

A private trade tribunal in Washington last week concluded its hearing into the UPS complaint under Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The hearing centered on a complaint from UPS that the publicly funded Canada Post Corp. has an unfair advantage over competing private companies.

UPS claims Canada Post has an unfair advantage when delivering parcel, express and courier services that compete with private courier services. UPS argued that Canada has allowed Canada Post to compete unfairly by using privileges obtained from its monopoly over letter mail for the benefit of its express delivery services.

UPS, the world's largest package delivery firm, first filed a claim for $160 million against the Canadian government in April 2000 under NAFTA.

Canadian postal workers are worried that if UPS wins, Canada Post may opt to exit the courier business.

The U.S. and Mexican governments are allowed to file briefs by Jan. 28. Canada and UPS have one final chance to file material Feb. 24 before the three-person tribunal begins deliberating. A decision is expected later next year.

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