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Gabriel

Canada sez to US "Pay UP PUNK!"

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Canada gets Paid , BOOO Ya! heard ringing from the countryside.

Thats not even the best part, Its $4 Billion Plus Interest.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

VANCOUVER (CP) - The federal government is floating the outline of a proposed five-year deal to settle Canada's softwood lumber trade dispute with the United States, The Canadian Press has learned.

Ottawa sees the framework agreement as a potential way to end the costly and politically damaging trade battle, axing billions of dollars in punishing duties and achieving eventual free trade in wood products. But senior officials stressed this is only a draft proposal and the federal government is not abandoning the hardball strategies of trade litigation and possible retaliation against $4 billion in U.S. imports.

The proposed agreement, obtained by The Canadian Press, is being circulated to lumber-producing provinces and the forest industry in hopes of pushing the stakeholders towards a consensus.

The ideas in it are said to have grown out of a series of recent meetings between federal and provincial officials.

It has not been shown to U.S. trade officials but it could figure in discussions with the Americans as early as next week, said one industry spokesman.

The deal would see Canada imposing its own export tax on most lumber headed to U.S. markets in return for Washington cancelling lumber duties costing the industry about $150 million a month.

The tax would be lifted once the U.S. Commerce Department is satisfied the provinces have implemented changes to their forestry policies to eliminate perceived subsidies that support lumber exporters.

The deal would also require the United States to refund more than $4 billion in countervailing and anti-dumping duties collected since May 2002, plus interest.

Go to canada.com for more.

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