President Donald Trump’s nominee for United States Trade Representative is vowing to end the long-running softwood-lumber dispute with Canada – whether by cutting a deal or fighting it out in trade court – and take Ottawa to task for not cracking down on counterfeit goods destined for the U.S.
In a clear signal of the new administration’s bilateral priorities, Robert Lighthizer told his Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday that softwood is “at the top of the list.” He said he recognizes that American companies want “quantitative restraint” – a limit on Canadian lumber entering the United States. “It is a very serious, intractable sort of problem. It has enormous political consequences on both sides of the border,” he told the Senate’s finance committee. “We have to have a new [deal]: Either litigation or a new agreement that does work.”
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