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Canada to seek judicial review of latest U.S. decision on softwood lumber duties

WASHINGTON — The federal government in Ottawa is pushing back against the latest U.S. decision to keep imposing duties on Canadian softwood lumber. 

Trade Minister Mary Ng says Canada is seeking a judicial review of last month’s Treasury Department assessment of the levies, which she calls unfair, unjust and illegal. 

The latest administrative review provided modest relief, but maintained the combined duty rate at 7.99 per cent. 

Ng is also urging U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai to sit down and negotiate a resolution to the decades-old dispute. 

Such a deal would be challenging, since the U.S. takes issue with a long-standing regulatory system in Canada it says puts American producers at a disadvantage.

Tai has said the U.S. would be willing to negotiate, but only if Canada does away with a system that allows provinces to set prices for timber from Crown land.

“For years, the United States has imposed unfair, unjust and illegal duties on Canadian softwood lumber, hurting Canadian industry and increasing housing costs in both countries,” Ng said in a statement. 

“Canada is taking the necessary steps to actively defend the interests of our softwood lumber industry and the workers and communities that rely on it.” 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 22, 2023. 

The Canadian Press

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