The new trade deal between the U.S., Canada and Mexico that will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, has the potential to yield positive developments regarding the ongoing U.S.-Canada lumber trade dispute.
All three nations must still ratify the new agreement.
While the accord does not specifically address the lumber trade conflict, it does leave in place the dispute resolution mechanism from NAFTA’s Chapter 19. Now moved to Chapter 31, it allows a panel with representatives from each country that is party to a dispute to challenge tariffs that may be imposed.
Under NAFTA, the Chapter 19 mechanism has been successfully used by Canada in the past to challenge the U.S. on its softwood lumber trade restrictions.
With the negotiations on the USMCA accord now completed by the three nations, this leaves open the possibility that the U.S. and Canada can now focus on resolving bilateral trade issues regarding softwood lumber.
NAHB Chairman Randy Noel has sent a letter to President Trump urging him to negotiate now.
For more information, contact David Logan at 800-368-5242 x8448 or Alex Strong at x8279.