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September 28, 2009 (6:30 EST)
No. 278

Statement from Minister Day on Softwood Lumber Tribunal Ruling

The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today issued the following statement on the decision of the London Court of International Arbitration Tribunal that Canada did not cure its breach of the Softwood Lumber Agreement:

 “We are disappointed that the Tribunal did not accept Canada’s proposed solution to cure the breach. We continue to believe that our offer to pay $46.7 million was fair. However, there is no further route for appeal.

 “The Government will comply with the Tribunal’s decision, as we remain committed to the success of the Softwood Lumber Agreement. This agreement has brought stability and has returned nearly $5 billion to the industry. This is a complex matter. We are reviewing the decision and consulting with the provinces to determine how best to move forward.”

The Tribunal’s decision states that the compensatory adjustments to Canada’s export charges must be imposed until the amount of $68.26 million identified by the Tribunal in its ruling on February 26, 2009, has been collected.

The breach is related to the use of the adjustment factor in the calculation of the volume of exports to the United States. Canada applied the adjustment factor to some provinces beginning July 2007, but the Tribunal said that we should have applied it beginning January 2007.

The 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement ended a long-standing dispute that had resulted in years of punishing duties against Canadian exports. Through the Agreement, $4.5 billion US in duties collected by the U.S. was returned to Canadian companies, bringing a significant infusion of capital into the industry and benefiting workers and communities across Canada.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Mélisa Leclerc
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada