Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Get full access to
Support quality journalism
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24weeks
The Globe and Mail
Support quality journalism
Get full access to
Globe and Mail website displayed on various devices
per week
for the first 24weeks

var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](,dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){console.log("scroll");var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1);

A Bombardier CS300 C Series aircraft lands after a flying display on day two of the 51st International Paris Air Show in Paris, France, on June 16, 2015

Jasper Juine/Bloomber

The federal government has filed requests for panel reviews under NAFTA to appeal U.S. decisions to impose duties on imports of Bombardier Inc.'s C Series aircraft and softwood lumber from Canada.

The notices follow the U.S. Department of Commerce's plans to impose duty rates of nearly 300 per cent on future imports of Bombardier's C Series planes, and the U.S. International Trade Commission's determination that softwood lumber imported from Canada is subsidized and hurts the U.S. industry.

The North American free-trade agreement's Chapter 19 contains a dispute-resolution mechanism that allows Canada to get a panel made up of U.S. and Canadian trade experts to decide whether the duties follow U.S. trade law, rather than going through the U.S. court system.

Story continues below advertisement

The filings were expected, and in the case of softwood, the government had already formally signalled its intention to use Chapter 19 to push back against the U.S. decision to slap duties on Canadian lumber. Those duties average about 20 per cent for most lumber producers.

The move comes on the eve of the sixth round of NAFTA talks, which are due to begin next week in Montreal.

Canada, the United States and Mexico began a renegotiation of the deal last summer, triggered by U.S. President Donald Trump, who has argued the trade agreement is a "disaster" for U.S. workers. The sides remain far apart on many contentious issues, including the rules that govern auto manufacturing, dairy products and Chapter 19 dispute resolution itself. The United States has proposed the elimination of Chapter 19; Canada wants it to stay in place.

Washington moved last year against Bombardier, arguing that the Montreal plane maker is unfairly subsidized because of financial support it has received from the federal and Quebec governments. The trade dispute placed a cloud over Bombardier's signature project, making it nearly impossible for it to sell the aircraft to U.S. airlines.

That was a key factor in persuading Bombardier to cut a deal with Airbus Group SE – a deal that proposes to hand over control of the C Series to its European rival. Although Bombardier receives no cash in return, the transaction would make it possible to manufacture the aircraft at an Airbus facility in Alabama, perhaps solving the problem of U.S. duties on the plane. Ottawa says the Chapter 19 notices are necessary procedural steps in the appeal process against the U.S. decisions.

As first reported by The Globe and Mail last week, Canada is hoping to discuss potential compromises on Chapter 19 and other dispute-resolution provisions in Montreal, in hopes of breaking the bargaining table logjam .

The Canadian Press, with a report from staff

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons or for abuse. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies