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U.S. appeals softwood ruling to WTO appeals body the U.S. has rendered inoperative

BY The Canadian Press, Sep 28, 2020 1:41 PM - REPORT AN ERROR

Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade Mary Ng takes part in a press conference on the second day of the Liberal cabinet retreat in Ottawa on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

International Trade Minister Mary Ng says it is extremely disappointing that the United States has decided to appeal a World Trade Organization ruling against its softwood-lumber duties, particularly because the U.S. is making it impossible for that appeal to be heard.

The WTO ruled in August that the U.S.'s import duties on Canadian softwood violate international trading rules because the U.S. cannot prove that Canada is unfairly subsidizing its softwood producers by undercharging for wood coming off government land.

Ng says the U.S. decision to appeal is confusing since earlier this year the U.S. decided that the WTO appeal body did not need to exist.

Complaining that the WTO group has been making decisions beyond its jurisdiction, the U.S. has refused to appoint new members, leaving it without enough people to operate.

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