VANCOUVER, British Columbia, March 17 (UPI) -- A key trade panel ruled Friday that Canadian softwood lumber is not subsidized and U.S. duties on such products are improper.
Those countervailing duties, which have collected about $4.4 billion and must now be revoked, have been in place for nearly four years. Washington has until April 27 to request an extraordinary challenge committee to review the NAFTA panel's decision.
The panel of the North American Free Trade Agreement was comprised of three U.S. citizens and two Canadians and acted unanimously in affirming the "de minimis" subsidy finding the Department of Commerce issued in November 2005.
"This is a huge victory for Canada," said John Allan, president of the BC Lumber Trade Council. "This is the second NAFTA Panel comprised of a majority of Americans to have unanimously ruled that there is no merit to the U.S. allegations, first regarding injury, and now regarding subsidy."