With No US-Canada Deal, Lumber Talks to Run Parallel to NAFTA

The United States and Canada have failed to settle a festering trade dispute on softwood lumber ahead of talks to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), but will keep the lumber negotiations on a separate, parallel track, officials from both countries said.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross had been pushing for a lumber deal before Wednesday’s start to NAFTA talks to avoid complications from the decades-old dispute.

But both US lumber producers and Canadian officials say they are not close to completing a quota deal that would limit Canadian lumber mills to a specific percentage of the US market.