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(JOHN LEHMANN/GLOBE AND MAIL/JOHN LEHMANN)
(JOHN LEHMANN/GLOBE AND MAIL/JOHN LEHMANN)

U.S. says Canada violated softwood lumber pact, seeks remedy Add to ...

The United States on Tuesday accused Canada of violating the terms of a 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA) by under-pricing some timber sales and asked for binding arbitration to resolve the matter.

"Canada is providing an additional benefit to Canadian exporters of softwood lumber by selling timber harvested from public lands for prices below those provided for under the timber pricing system grandfathered under the SLA," U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said in a statement.

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"By doing so, Canada is in breach of its commitments under the agreement," Mr. Kirk said.

The United States requested talks in September on its concern that timber harvested from public lands in the interior region of British Colombia was being sold at too low a price under the terms of the 2006 pact.

The two countries met on the issue in October, but were unable to resolve the issue.

The 2006 pact allows either side to seek binding arbitration to resolve differences over its implementation.

This is the third time the United States has sought arbitration to resolve a disagreement under the pact.

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