The Globe and Mail reports in its Wednesday, Aug. 23, edition that the federal government is pushing back against the latest U.S. decision to keep imposing duties on Canadian softwood lumber.
A Canadian Press dispatch to The Globe reports that Canada has filed for a judicial review of last month's Commerce Department assessment of the levies, which International Trade Minister Mary Ng described as "unfair, unjust and illegal."
Ms. Ng framed the move as an effort to escalate the concerns of exporters while adding an impetus on the U.S. to consider a negotiated solution to a dispute that has plagued Canada-U.S. relations for decades. The U.S. Commerce Department's latest review resulted in a modest decrease in the so-called "all others" combined duty rate, but kept it in place at 7.99 per cent.
In Canada, lumber-producing provinces set so-called stumpage fees for timber harvested from Crown land, a system that U.S. producers say amounts to an unfair subsidy.
It is not the first time Ms. Ng has pushed her U.S. counterparts to help hammer out a solution. However, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai has said negotiations can only happen once Canada does away with its stumpage fee regime.
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