I realize I'm a few days behind but I wanted to throw in my two-cents (or after the exchange rate on randomnoisians to CAD: .113 cents). Anyway, the news is that Canada, once again, has won a NAFTA hearing against the US over softwood. And once again, Canada didn't receive a refund cheque from the US.
I'm not sure what problem is really. It is obvious that the NAFTA tribunal isin favour of Canada and will continue to be. Now, I get that repaying $5billion is a lot to ask when you have a debt load in the trillions. I get that having a powerful lobbyist group breathing down your neck can be scary especially when you're not favourable in opnion polls. I also get that winning some WTO rulings can confuse the issue. But seriously, NAFTA is binding by law. And in a country that is governed by law and the country is being run by a guy who thinks the law is everything, then shouldn't you concede defeat?
Let's be realistic here. No one really believes this is an issue of so called subsidies in Canada. It's really an issue of the States trying pad their own industries. However, it has come down to an argument of WTO rulings versus NAFTA rulings. But the WTO argument is extremely weak because it is not binding and the rules are based on general principles of free trade so that they can apply to everyone. NAFTA on the other hand is specific to industry and country and, most important, it is binding by law. For me, this is a no brainer and the constant shuffling and squirming coming from the States has got to end. They've dragged it on for way too long and their options are now more limited than ever. Their excuses and loopholes have also been diminished and to the point that any more delays will only completely expose their lack of justification for continuing to slap duties on Canadian softwood lumber.