By mid-October, the U.S. Lumber Coalition — a.k.a. The Coalition to those who have spent their lives in the trenches of softwood lumber battles — will be able to file new anti-dumping and countervailing duty complaints against Canadian softwood lumber exports. Unless a replacement for the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement can be negotiated in the next few months, it’s a pretty safe bet that Lumber V will be launched.
These perennial disputes feature extremely disruptive punitive U.S. duties. When Canadian exporters are threatened with the full force of U.S. trade remedy laws most Canadian stakeholders opt for the “least worst” option a government-to-government agreement to buy off The Coalition. Canada’s attachment to the rules-based international trading system will be abandoned in favour of managed trade agreements that buy peace – at least until the next time.