Softwood lumber producers are paying close attention, as trade negotiators focus on a new deal with the Americans. The dispute resolution provisions in NAFTA are also important for a new agreement on lumber, says Kenora MP Bob Nault, who also chairs the foreign affairs committee for the House of Commons.
"Over the years, we've used the dispute mechanism to challenge the U.S. and the U.S. business, when they suggest we have unfair trade practices," said Nault Friday.
Chapter 19 of the old NAFTA agreement outlines the dispute resolution mechanism, and it's considered a sticking point in current talks. Nault says it's important to keep the provisions, so Canadian businesses aren't bullied by their American counterparts or the U.S. government.
"What we're doing is putting together an agreement where that doesn't happen," Nault emphasized.
He quickly adds no deal may be better than a bad deal, as American president Donald Trump continues to press Canadian negotiators.
"We did compete, trade with the U.S. before we had a NAFTA deal," Nault added.
Trade talks are ongoing with the U.S. mid-term elections looming.