April 15, 2019 10:16 am
Updated: April 15, 2019 10:41 am

Canada will fight WTO ruling on softwood lumber dispute with U.S.: Freeland

WATCH ABOVE: Trudeau says he continues to talk to Trump about 'challenges' around softwood lumber (Jan. 9, 2019)

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Canada will appeal last week’s decision by the World Trade Organization (WTO) which ruled to allow the United States to use “zeroing” to calculate anti-dumping tariffs, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement on Monday.

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READ MORE: WTO approves U.S. trade policy in Canadian softwood lumber dispute

“We firmly believe that the U.S. duties on Canadian softwood lumber are unfair and unwarranted,” Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement. “That is why we are challenging these duties at the WTO and under NAFTA.”

Canada had launched the technical dispute with the WTO in 2017, saying it would forcefully defend its lumber industry, but last week’s long-awaited decision sided with the United States.

The United States had suffered a string of defeats at the WTO over zeroing, a calculation method that was ruled to have unfairly increased the level of U.S. anti-dumping duties.

The U.S. Commerce Department had accused Canada of unfairly subsidizing and dumping softwood lumber, which is commonly used in home construction. Its duties affected about $5.66 billion worth of imports.

WATCH: Trump claims WTO has not treated U.S. ‘fairly’ due to members abusing trade rules (Nov. 2018) 

Trade tensions between the United States and Canada are heating up again after the two countries together with Mexico signed a free-trade agreement to replace NAFTA last year.

Last week, Canada said it was looking at ways to boost the effectiveness of its retaliatory tariffs against the United States.

Canada imposed tariffs on C$16.6 billion ($12.5 billion)worth of U.S. exports in May 2018 after Washington slapped punitive measures on exports of Canadian steel and aluminum. The initial Canadian list included orange juice, maple syrup, whiskey, toilet paper and a wide variety of other products.

 

© 2019 Reuters

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