„While we are pleased with the panel`s decision to refer the damage caused by the U.S. wood industry to the USITC for verification, we are disappointed that the panel has not made a similar finding with respect to the USITC`s decision that cedar/rotholz is a full-fledged core wood product group,“ said Don Demens, CEO of Western Forest Products, in a press release. Canadian conifer timber producers pay an average of 20% anti-dumping duties on the export of coniferous timber to the United States. Officially known as investor-state dispute settlement (EIRD), investment disputes can only be resolved in Canadian or U.S. courts or through interstate diplomatic proceedings. These alternatives are neither quick nor impartial; and experienced foresters will remember before 1982, when there was no impartial or international arena to settle timber disputes, and legal proceedings were conducted in some U.S. states or at the federal level in Canada. These authorities did not really have the power to enforce their decisions. In 2017, British Columbia exported more than $4 billion ($3 billion) worth of coniferous wood to the United States. The Canadian government and the wood industry dispute this assertion, based on a number of factors, including the fact that Canadian wood is made available to such a wide range of industries and that, in the absence of specificity, it is not conceivable to be considered a subsidy under U.S. law. Under U.S. trade law, a subsidy punishable by compensatory measures must be specific to a particular sector.
This requirement excludes the imposition of countervailing duties on public programs, such as roads, which should benefit a wide range of interests. Since 1982, there have been four main controversies. 24-11-2020 – Statement by the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade on U.S. Tariffs on Canadian Conifer Wood The conifer timber dispute has become one of the most ongoing trade disputes between the two countries. Over the past 25 years, the U.S. wood industry has often sought out the United States. State restrictions on Canadian imports of coniferous wood through U.S. countervailing duties and anti-dumping laws – laws authorizing the introduction of import duties where a U.S. industry is allegedly harmed by subsidies in the exporting country (countervailing duties) or by dumping, where a U.S. industry is allegedly harmed by imported products sold at prices below or below the price.
Two weeks later, a WTO panel also concluded that the United States had improperly imposed high tariffs on Canadian timber. The panel accepted the DoC`s assertion that the province`s royalties provided a „financial benefit“ to Canadian producers, but found that this benefit had not reached the level of subsidy that a subsidy would constitute and could not justify U.S. tariffs.  On March 30, 2007, the United States requested formal consultations with Canada to remove concerns about Canada`s lack of implementation of export measures.  The following month, April 19, formal consultations were held between the two governments On August 7, the United States launched arbitration proceedings before the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), a private body, pursuant to a comparison mechanism established in the Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA 2006).   The formal request for arbitration took place on August 13.   Canada responded to this request for an outright decision on September 12.  The following year, on January 18, the U.S. government filed a second arbitration application, which focused on provincial implementation programs in Ontario and Quebec.  Canada responded on February 18, 2008.
 On March 4, the LCIA (in the first arbitration) ruled that Canada was violating the 2006 AES in its eastern provinces, but not in its western provinces.  The proceeding was composed of a Belgian arbitrator appointed by the