A ministry statement said Canada would forcefully defend the
lumber industry against the "unfair, unwarranted and deeply
Earlier this month Canada launched a NAFTA trade challenge
against duties affecting about $5.66 billion worth of U.S.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is confident the
Department of Commerce's actions "fully comply" with WTO rules,
said USTR spokeswoman Amelia Breinig, in a statement.
In any case, Canada's decision to open a case with the WTO is
premature, she said, since final duties are not yet in place,
pending a decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission on
whether imports of Canadian lumber have harmed U.S. producers.
That decision is expected in December.
The U.S. Commerce Department accuses Canada of unfairly
subsidizing and dumping softwood lumber, which is commonly used
in the construction of homes. Canada denies it is dumping the
The disagreement centers on the fees paid by Canadian lumber
mills for timber cut largely from government-owned land. They
are lower than fees paid on U.S. timber, which comes largely
from private land.
(Reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa and David Lawder in
Washington; additional writing by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg;
Editing by Andrew Hay and Chris Reese)
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