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Top U.S. Trade Court Declares Softwood Lumber Duties Unlawful
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Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 21 July 2006 -- /PRNewswire/ -- Canada is today celebrating the most definitive and significant legal decision in the Canada-U.S. softwood lumber dispute. Three judges of the U.S. Court of International Trade (U.S. CIT) today issued a unanimous decision saying that the U.S. has no basis under U.S. law to impose duties on Canadian softwood lumber. The U.S. CIT decision makes it clear that the United States cannot defeat the judgment of a NAFTA panel by issuing a new ruling that supposedly responds to an adverse WTO decision.

"Today's decision is a major victory for Canada and should effectively end this dispute," said John Allan, president of the BC Lumber Trade Council. "The U.S. CIT decision means the countervailing and anti-dumping duties should never have been imposed on Canadian softwood lumber and cannot legally be maintained going forward."

"America's top trade tribunal, the U.S. CIT, stood up in full support of NAFTA today. This is a great victory for not only the Canadian forest industry, but also the Government of Canada and NAFTA," said Allan.

As a result of today's decision, the United States will be obligated to return all of the deposits collected since 04 November 2004, estimated to be approximately $1.2 billion plus interest. The U.S. CIT has asked for further information to determine the remedies for the estimated $3.4 billion plus interest in duties collected between May 2002 and November 2004.

"We fully expect the U.S. CIT to order all of the remaining deposits to be refunded with interest," said Allan.

The BC Lumber Trade Council is the voice for companies in British Columbia representing the majority of BC lumber production.




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