US Trade Commission Rules Against Canada : Omen for NAFTA?

Some troubling news on the Trade Front. Here is the exact words from the United States International  Trade Commission Press release of a few days ago:

‘News Release 17-003
Inv. No. 701-TA-566 and 731-TA-1342
Contact: Peg O’Laughlin, 202-205-1819

USITC VOTES TO CONTINUE INVESTIGATIONS ON SOFTWOOD LUMBER PRODUCTS FROM CANADA

The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) today determined that there is a reasonable indication that a U.S. industry is materially injured by reason of imports of softwood lumber products from Canada that are allegedly subsidized and sold in the United States at less than fair value.

Chairman Irving A. Williamson, Vice Chairman David S. Johanson, and Commissioners Meredith M. Broadbent, F. Scott Kieff, and Rhonda K. Schmidtlein voted in the affirmative. Commissioner Dean A. Pinkert did not participate in these investigations.

As a result of the Commission’s affirmative determinations, the U.S. Department of Commerce will continue to conduct its antidumping and countervailing duty investigations on imports of these products from Canada, with its countervailing duty determination due on or about February 20, 2017, and its preliminary antidumping duty determination due on or about May 4, 2017.’

Given that Mr. Trump will be President on January 20 and that his trade stance seems a more pro US stance than the previous administration , this softwood lumber issue could be a real test  for Canada and could determine the American approach to the larger North American Free Trade Agreement talks.

We will have to keep a close eye on these developments. Whatever we think or say about the Americans , they are by far our largest trading partner and crucial to our economic well being . Canada ‘s mettle will be tested , there is no doubt.

 

 

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