U.S. lumber industry seeks duties on Canadian softwood lumber

November 25, 2016 1:12 PM EST

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A group representing the U.S. lumber industry and some of its workers on Friday called on authorities to impose duties on Canadian softwood lumber, reigniting a long-standing trade dispute between the two nations.

U.S. producers complain that Canadian lumber is subsidized, and have in the past launched trade challenges that resulted in the United States imposing billions of dollars in tariffs.

In a widely-expected move, the COALITION group petitioned the U.S. Commerce Department and the U.S. International Trade Commission to impose duties to "offset the harm caused to U.S. mills, workers and communities by Canadian softwood lumber production subsidies".

The most recent round of arguments ended with a 2006 deal that expired in October 2015. Both sides agreed to take no action for a year after that but talks on a new agreement bogged down, leaving the way open for the group to act.

The Canadian government, which rejects the notion of unfair subsidies, said it would vigorously defend the interests of Canadian workers and producers.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange lumber futures rose by their daily price limit of $10 per thousand board feet (tbf) to $334.40, 1 roughly 1-1/2 month high.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton in West Palm Beach, David Ljunggren in Ottawa and Michael Hirtzer in Chicago; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Tim Ahmann and Andrew Hay)



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