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U.S. imposed unfair tariffs on Canadian lumber, WTO rules
WASHINGTON (From news reports) -- The World Trade Organization has sided with Canada in a decades-old dispute with the U.S. over lumber imports, ruling the Trump administration incorrectly claimed in 2017 that Canada was improperly subsidizing production.

In particular, the panel agreed with Canada's argument that the U.S. Department of Commerce made errors in determining the benchmark Canadian timber prices it used to determine whether producers north of the border were paying adequate stumpage fees to the provinces.

If the Trump administration lodges an appeal, it will deny tariff relief to Canadian lumber companies - including Canfor, Resolute Forest Products and West Fraser Timber - because the WTO's appellate body no longer has enough members to issue a final ruling that would require the U.S. to modify its tariffs.

The U.S. has blocked the appointment of judges to the appellate body, so the court has too few judges to rule on big trade disputes between countries.

Canadian wood producers recently set new 52-week highs, driven by record high prices for lumber and wood panel products due to continuing robust demand from renovation and new home markets.

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