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No more Soft Wood Lumber For you

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Canada suspends softwood talks

Canada has suspended softwood lumber talks with the United States to protest America's refusal to heed a NAFTA ruling that sided with the Canadian position.

A scheduled meeting that was to start the next round of talks in the dispute has been cancelled, with no hint of when talks might resume.

"Following consultations with provincial governments, and in light of the U.S. response to the Aug. 10 decision of the NAFTA extraordinary challenge committee, the government of Canada has decided to not proceed with the negotiations planned for next week," International Trade Minister Jim Peterson said in a news release Tuesday.

"The government of Canada will continue to consult with industry stakeholders as we consider all possible options for promoting Canada's interests in this long-standing dispute."

Peterson advised U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman of the development.

Last week, the extraordinary challenge panel dismissed Washington's claims that Canadian softwood exports are subsidized and damage the U.S. lumber industry. Canada immediately called on Washington to return about $5 billion collected from Canadian companies. The Americans refused, saying the ruling didn't end the matter because it did not deal with a 2004 decision from the U.S. International Trade Commission which supported the American case.

Peterson has told Portman that Canadians are outraged by the refusal to follow NAFTA rules.

Finance Minister Ralph Goodale said Washington has to understand that "Canada takes this very, very seriously."'

NDP Leader Jack Layton has said Canada must play "hardball" with the Americans by imposing export charges on oil and gas. Otherwise, he said, the United States won't take the issue seriously.

Canadian producers sell about $10 billion worth of spruce, pine and fir lumber a year to the U.S. home-construction and renovation sectors.



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once again we have americans who don't like a fair playing field. Do they all think they are so special that they can bully everyone if they don't get their way. They went through the nafta process and lost so they took their toys and went home because they couldn't screw Canadians out of some money with their BS propoganda that Canada subsidises its soft wood industry. They are pushing their luck too much.

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