Canada disappointed by U.S. plan to maintain softwood lumber duties

OTTAWA, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Canada is disappointed the United States plans to maintain tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber imports, Ottawa said on Tuesday, arguing that a negotiated solution to the longstanding dispute was in the best interests of both countries.

Canadian Trade Minister Mary Ng was responding to the U.S. Commerce Department’s preliminary decision to maintain its level of duties on Canadian softwood lumber imports as part of an annual review.

“This is a disappointing decision to many on both sides of our shared border,” Ng said in a statement.

The softwood lumber tariffs are the legacy of a decades-long trade dispute over the structure of Canada’s timber sector that could not be resolved when a quota agreement expired in 2015.

“We are confident that a negotiated solution to this long-standing issue is in the best interests of both our countries,” Ng said.