Canada to Appeal Recent Softwood Lumber Ruling at WTO and NAFTA

Canada to Appeal Recent Softwood Lumber Ruling at WTO and NAFTA

Just as Canada is being tossed about like a pebble between two great forces with China’s ban on Canadian canola imports — supposedly due to the US extradition request and arrest in Vancouver, BC of a top executive at Hawuei last month — the World Trade Organization (WTO) is mired in a crisis of delayed adjudicator appointments by USA. <br> This when arbitration for Softwood Lumber Dispute V reaches WTO and suddenly a US duty calculation practice which has never been successful is approved. Even the US abandoned the “zeroing” methodology in 2005, but it has now been resurrected on the softwood lumber file. <br> Experts suggest US President Donald Trump is deliberately blocking WTO appointments to put pressure on arbitrators to rule in US favour. The trade organization is down to three adjudicators and looking at a December deadline for this internal crisis.

The Executive Summary of 2017 Softwood Lumber Dispute is: a long time of ongoing appeals ahead and a lot of money for the lawyers. — Madison’s Lumber Reporter – April 16, 2019

Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland announced Monday that Canada will appeal last week’s decision by a WTO panel to allow the US to use “zeroing” to calculate lumber anti-dumping tariffs. Despite another WTO ruling which found the US did not follow the rules in calculating the anti-dumping margins, the sudden allowance of “zeroing” is something Canada will fight, said Freeland.

While the WTO agreed that the US incorrectly calculated its anti-dumping duty, the organization failed to prohibit the use of a tactic called “zeroing,” used primarily by the US to inflate the duties it places on imported foreign goods. — Business in Vancouver

There is annual trade of $6 billion in softwood lumber sales from Canada to the US.

As for retaliation, on May 2018 Canada imposed tariffs on $16.6 billion worth of US exports 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.

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