US To Consult With Industry On Canada Lumber Aid

Posted on Friday, November 25 at 13:03 by jensonj
Canada ships about $6 billion in softwood lumber such as spruce, fir and pine to the United States each year. Washington argues the lumber is unfairly subsidized and has slapped countervailing and anti-dumping duties on the imports. "While we continue to believe that a long-term durable settlement is the only way to resolve this dispute, Canada's actions complicate our attempts to reach a negotiated solution," Portman said. On Tuesday the United States said it had cut its countervailing duties on Canadian lumber to effectively zero, or "de minimis," in order to comply with a North American Free Trade Agreement panel ruling, but added it was considering an appeal. Washington said, however, that as long as the litigation was ongoing, it would continue to collect the countervailing duties, currently set at 16 percent. "At the same time a NAFTA panel has directed the Department of Commerce to find that Canadian subsidies are de minimis, Canada announces over a billion dollars in aid," Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez said in a statement. "This just goes to show that Canada will continue to funnel vast amounts of assistance to its industry. We will continue to insist that (the) subsidies be eliminated by all means at our disposal." Both countries have battled for decades over lumber trade, pursuing litigation at both the World Trade Organization and panels set up under the North American Free Trade Agreement. 2005 Reuters

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