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Resolving Canada-U.S. Trade Disputes in Agriculture and Forestry: Lessons from Lumber

Listed author(s):
  • Jeffrey Biggs
  • Susanna Laaksonen-Craig
  • Kurt Niquidet
  • G. Cornelis van Kooten

Prominent trade disputes between Canada and the U.S. involve agriculture and forestry, with lack of transparency caused by Canadian non-market institutions a source of U.S. objections. Though there has been a recent flurry of activity in the binational dispute resolution panel on Canadian exports of wheat, one of every six panels since 1989 has involved softwood lumber. We examine lessons from the lumber dispute to shed light on U.S. objections to the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB). We argue that U.S. lumber lobbyists will continue to use perceived Canadian institutional obscurity to keep pressure on policymakers, while the CWB system enables similar agricultural interests in to agitate for trade sanctions. Traditional strategies such as dispute resolution boards, appeals to the WTO, and bilateral policy reform can only buy Canada time – new strategies are needed if Canada is to maintain sovereignty over its trade institutions.

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File Function: Final version, 2005
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Paper provided by University of Victoria, Department of Economics, Resource Economics and Policy Analysis Research Group in its series Working Papers with number 2005-03.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2005
Handle: RePEc:rep:wpaper:2005-03
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  1. Carter, Colin A. & Wilson, William W., 1997. "Emerging differences in state grain trading: Australia and Canada," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 16(2), May.
  2. Steve McCorriston & Donald MacLaren, 2002. "State Trading, the WTO and GATT Article XVII," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(1), pages 107-135, 01.
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