Canada-U.S. lumber spat looms

Posted by Rumin Mann
January 7th, 2011

Canada and the U.S. could square off in London this week over what the U.S. government claims are illegal lumber subsidies. (Richard Lam/Canadian Press)

Another trade dispute over lumber is building between Canada and the U.S.  The fight focuses on British Columbia and could see officials from Washington, D.C., and Ottawa face off at a London tribunal as early as this week.

U.S. industry leaders claim B.C. misclassifies timber as salvage material so that Canadian companies can flood the U.S. with subsidized lumber.

And that, they said, undercuts U.S. mills and jobs.

Politicians from the northwestern states want the U.S. government to fight what they consider illegal Canadian subsidies.

Canadian government and industry leaders deny the charges.

Pat Bell, the BC. minister of forests, mines and lands, said grading standards and enforcement haven’t changed in years.

Bell said timber volumes have increased legitimately because of widespread bug kills.

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