Friday, Jun 11, 2004
U.S. trade panel defies NAFTA ruling on softwood
(CBC) - Canadian softwood lumber imports pose a threat of injury to U.S. lumber producers, the U.S. International Trade Commission reaffirmed Friday in renewed defiance of a NAFTA panel ruling.
The Canadian government was swift to condemn the decision.
"This decision is clearly without basis and seemingly unsubstantiated," said International Trade Minister Jim Peterson.
"Time and time again, both the NAFTA panel and the WTO have found no evidence of injury - or even threat of injury - to the American industry," he said.
The World Trade Organisation, too, has found no evidence that Canadian imports hurt the U.S. lumber industry.
British Columbia Forest Minister Mike De Jong said the Americans refused to admit they'd lost and intended to string out the issue.
But the U.S. commission suggested the NAFTA appeal panel had overstepped its authority by not giving U.S. officials more time to consider the case.