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The Forest for the Trees: A Roadmap to Canada's Litigation Experience in Lumber IV


  • David Quayat


The ongoing feud over the export of Canadian softwood lumber to the US is likely one of the most litigated trade disputes in history. In April 2001, the fourth round of the lumber dispute commenced. The ensuing five-and-a-half years featured a number of cases being filed before panels constituted under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), as well as, for the first time, US domestic courts. During the summer of 2006, as with the two rounds of the dispute immediately before it, Canada and the US negotiated a settlement. This article presents a broad overview of the softwood lumber dispute and examines what was accomplished in the Lumber IV litigation. It explores the decisions rendered by NAFTA and WTO panels, as well as the historic foray by Canadian parties into the US courts. It also analyses lessons learned from the softwood lumber litigation, and the potential applicability of these lessons to other complex trade disputes. , Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • David Quayat, 2009. "The Forest for the Trees: A Roadmap to Canada's Litigation Experience in Lumber IV," Journal of International Economic Law, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 115-151, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jieclw:v:12:y:2009:i:1:p:115-151

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