Canadian Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland has announced that Canada is prepared to fight any softwood lumber tariffs the U.S. levies in front of the Wrold Trade Organization, reports Josh Wingrove and Jen Skerritt for THE GLOBE AND MAIL.
The one-year "tariff standstill period" between the U.S. and Canada ended Oct. 12 without a new softwood lumber agreement. Since the passing of the deadline, both nations have announced that they will continue negotiations to draft a new agreement. Despite negotiatons for the agreement, Canada is still prepping "for any WTO fight" while the U.S. is looking to levy tariffs:
Any U.S. industry complaint will be filed “at the most effective time,” the U.S. Lumber Coalition said in a statement last week, adding industry has “no choice” but to press the U.S. government to act against Canadian softwood. U.S. industry proposals are currently “inadequate,” Ms. Freeland said Monday. “The government of Canada is prepared for any situation.”
The U.S. Lumber Coalition has said any new agreement should maintain Canadian exports at or below an agreed U.S. market share. Producers in British Columbia want to choose between an export tax model and a restriction on volumes, similar to the structure of the previous agreement.