Canada catches break in lumber talks

WASHINGTON — Canada’s softwood lumber industry logged a temporary win this week in negotiations over the latest incarnation of its perennial dispute with U.S. counterparts. The lifting of a 19.88% countervailing duty leaves most forestry firms paying anti-dumping tariffs at a rate of just 6.87%.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced that a final decision from his department on the duties would be postponed, expressing his optimism that the “extension could provide the time needed to address the complex issues at hand” and arrive at a negotiated settlement. The talks continue as Canadian and U.S. trade reps prepare to meet with their Mexican counterparts for round two of negotiations for a revamped NAFTA. Those meetings, beginning today, follow a round of talks held in D.C. earlier in August.