CANADA FIGHTS LUMBER DUTIES
The federal government on Tuesday launched a NAFTA trade challenge of the U.S. Commerce Department’s decision earlier this month to impose duties on Canadian softwood lumber exports. The government is pursuing the challenge under the North American Free Trade Agreement’s Chapter 19 dispute settlement mechanism, which the United States wants to remove as part of talks to modernize the three-nation trade pact. “We will forcefully defend Canada’s softwood lumber industry, including through litigation, which we are launching today,” the foreign ministry said in a statement. It called Washington’s Nov. 2 decision to impose final duties on Canadian lumber exports as “unfair, unwarranted, and deeply troubling.” The U.S. Commerce Department accuses Canada of unfairly subsidizing and dumping softwood lumber.