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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 17, 2006
  Contact: Jennifer Scoggins
(202) 482-3809

STATEMENT ON NAFTA PANEL DECISION ON
SOFTWOOD LUMBER FROM CANADA

WASHINGTON, D.C. - David Spooner, U.S. Department of Commerce Assistant Secretary for Import Administration, released the following statement on the decision by the NAFTA Panel affirming the U.S. Department of Commerce's Fifth Remand Determination in the countervailing duty investigation on softwood lumber from Canada:

"Today the NAFTA Panel affirmed our compliance with its earlier instructions consistent with our NAFTA obligations. However, we continue to not agree with the Panel's rationale. We will continue to enforce our trade laws to ensure that U.S. industry receives relief from unfair imports and we believe that a durable, negotiated resolution is the best way to resolve this dispute with Canada."

Background: The remand determination was in response to instructions previously given by the Panel with respect to log seller profit. Although the Department did not agree with the Panel's rationale in its instructions, the Department complied with the Panel's instructions and calculated a country-wide subsidy rate of 0.80 percent, which is de minimis. The United States is considering challenging the Panel's decisions before an Extraordinary Challenge Committee, as allowed under NAFTA.

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