Renewed softwood lumber dispute may fan U.S. protectionist flames in other industries

While Canadian and U.S. trade officials negotiate a new softwood lumber agreement (a one-year “standstill” period expired last week), Canadian officials have privately indicated that the price of an agreement demanded by the Americans is currently too high. While the U.S. government’s position has not been publicly revealed, it likely involves a limit on Canadian exports of softwood lumber that is well below what Canadian officials are currently willing to accept.Under the expired agreement, U.S. duties on Canadian softwood lumber exports to the U.S. would only be imposed when lumber prices fell below a certain level. U.S. lumber producers seem

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