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WTO Delivers Mixed Ruling in US-Canada Lumber Dispute

(Bryce Baschuck – Bloomberg)

The World Trade Organization on Tuesday said the U.S. violated international trade rules in the way it calculated tariffs on Canadian imports of softwood lumber in a key dispute ruling published on the WTO website.

The decision also provided a boost to the U.S.’s use of a controversial methodology used when calculating anti-dumping duties on Canadian lumber. In the past, the WTO has struck down American use of the process, called zeroing, which typically results in higher duty margins.

The ruling marks the latest stage in a decades-long disagreement between the two nations, with the U.S. alleging its northern neighbor unfairly subsidizes lumber production. The WTO decision comes as Canada and the U.S. grapple with ratification of their new trade deal with Mexico, and over ongoing steel and aluminum tariffs. Click here to read more.