Canada: Litigation looming if there’s no softwood deal with the U.S.

As softwood negotiations with the United States languish, the Canadian government says it’s readying itself for the next phase of the lumber fight: litigation.

Canada’s ambassador to Washington says the two governments have been working hard to get a deal and will continue to do so.

But David MacNaughton accuses the American lumber industry of spreading misinformation and stymying an agreement and he says litigation would be the next step.

U.S. industry approval is crucial, because part of any deal would require it to forsake trade actions for the duration of the agreement.

The historical pattern of the softwood dispute involves the U.S. industry launching complaints over what it calls unfair subsidies, the U.S. authorities imposing tariffs and the issue dragging out for years, through court fights.

MacNaughton was speaking at an event today, surrounded by representatives from various provinces involved in the dispute.

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