* Panel says Quebec, Ontario programs contravene deal-USTR
* Canada must impose charges on exports from the provinces
* If Canada doesn't comply, U.S. can impose duties
(Adds details and background throughout)
By Roberta Rampton and Doug Palmer
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A binding arbitration panel
has ruled Canada has again breached its softwood lumber deal
with the United States, this time with aid offered by
provincial governments in Quebec and Ontario, the U.S. Trade
Representative said Friday.
It marks the second recent win for the United States on the
perennially thorny trade issue. It won a similar case at the
London Court of International Arbitration in 2009, and last
week launched a third case. [ID:nN18153348]
"This result is important for U.S. workers, firms and our
softwood lumber industry. We look forward to Canada working
quickly to implement the decision of the tribunal," U.S. Trade
Representative Ron Kirk said in a statement.
A spokesperson for the Canadian government was not
immediately available for comment.
Lumber producers in the United States have complained for
decades that Canada unfairly subsidizes its producers.
In 2006 the two countries agreed to stop fighting about
lumber in the courts, and signed a seven-year deal that allowed
for binding arbitration of any issues.
In the arbitration result announced Friday, the London
tribunal ruled that provincial grants, loans, tax credits and
other programs in Ontario and Quebec did not comply with the
terms of the deal, according to the USTR.
Canada now must impose additional charges on lumber exports
to the United States from the two provinces, collecting an
estimated $59.4 million, the USTR said.
If Canada does not comply within 30 days, the United States
can impose additional import duties on Canadian lumber, the
(Additional reporting by Louise Egan in Ottawa; Editing by
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