The Canadian government on Tuesday launched a NAFTA trade challenge of the U.S. Commerce Department's decision earlier this month to impose duties on softwood lumber exports from its northern neighbor.
The U.S. Commerce Department said Canada subsidizes its lumber because the Canadian provinces own most of the forested land from which the timber is cut, while the American forests are predominately privately held.
The Canadian government is keen on having the binational panel examine the lumber dispute because in the past, Canada has emerged victorious when appealing its case through NAFTA in the long-running trade battle.
In Tuesday's letter, Canada said the review through Chapter 19 should focus on "the final determination of the U.S. Department of Commerce in the countervailing duty investigation of softwood lumber from Canada". It called Washington's November 2 decision to impose final duties on Canadian lumber exports as "unfair, unwarranted, and deeply troubling".
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The federal government today filed a request to have a NAFTA dispute panel examine the countervailing duties the US imposed on nearly all softwood lumber imports from Canada earlier this year. The combined tariffs averaging 20.83 per cent against the majority of Canadian softwood imports into the United States compared with 26.75 per cent in the preliminary findings.
"As our government has said publicly for some time, we will forcefully defend Canada's softwood lumber industry, including through litigation, which we are launching today", the statement said.
The new anti-dumping rate kicked in on November 8.
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