Feds call for new softwood negotiations

Ottawa is expanding its efforts to counter U.S. duties on Canadian softwood lumber. According to international trade minister Mary Ng, the government is challenging the tariffs both under the USMCA trade agreement’s dispute process and before the U.S. Court of International Trade.

U.S. trade representative Katherine Tai says negotiations would be contingent on Canada’s abandonment of the stumpage fee system at the heart of the dispute, a position echoed by David Cohen, the U.S. ambassador to Canada. Cohen underscored “our commitment to reaching an agreement if Canada addresses underlying policy issues related to subsidization and fair competition.”