Authorities in Ottawa and British Columbia expressed approval towards a resolution issued under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The ruling indicates inconsistencies in the United States’ approach to softwood lumber duties, deemed inconsistent with the country’s own regulations.
In a public statement, Mary Ng, Canada’s Minister of International Trade, expressed her satisfaction with the NAFTA dispute panel’s consent towards Canada’s objection to America’s “dumping determination”.
According to the U.S. Tariff Act, it falls to the Department of Commerce to ascertain whether commodities are being sold below their fair value or whether they enjoy subsidies courtesy of foreign administrations.
The statement presented by Minister Ng communicates that the duties applied to Canadian softwood lumber are unjustified. She argued that the only equitable resolution is an immediate revocation of these duties by the U.S. government.
The statement further included the directive given by the NAFTA panel to the Department of Commerce to reassess critical components of its dumping determination.
Bruce Ralston, the B.C. Forests Minister, demonstrated optimism about the panel’s agreement with the comprehensive evidence backing Canada’s assertions.
He officially announced that the NAFTA panel has inferred the U.S. Department of Commerce’s shortcomings in analyzing critical elements of the anti-dumping duties imposed on Canadian softwood lumber exports.
Ralston upheld that third-party neutral assessments of the softwood lumber disagreement have repeatedly validated these duties as baseless.
His statement underscored the detrimental implications of U.S. duties on populace across the border. These duties stand to boost the construction costs for Americans while simultaneously instilling uncertainty among forestry professionals and communities in Canada.
In the same vein, Ng voiced her commitment to advocate for the Canadian softwood lumber workforce and industry as the nation navigates other legal hurdles surrounding the U.S. duties.
The 60-page decision offers an elaboration on the panel’s judgment with the affirmation of U.S. Commerce Department’s decisions in five sectors but demanded a comprehensive explanation over three areas. This involves the Department of Commerce’s differential pricing methodology. Moreover, the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement’s treatment of export taxes between the nations and the decisions surrounding startup adjustments for a northern Ontario mill run by a Montreal-based company owned by Paper Excellence are also under scrutiny.