April 25, 2017 / 6:47 PM / 3 months ago

U.S. commerce chief says Canada trade disputes show need to rework NAFTA

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U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross speaks about new tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber from the White House in Washington, U.S. April 25, 2017.Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Tuesday that trade disputes with Canada over lumber and dairy products illustrate a need to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Asked at a White House news briefing if he thought the disputes showed a need to rework NAFTA, he said, "I think it does because ... if NAFTA were functioning properly, you wouldn't be having these kinds of ... very unfortunate developments back-to-back, so in that sense it shows that NAFTA has not worked as well as it should."Ross said imposition of anti-subsidy duties on Canadian softwood lumber imports announced on Monday would raise the costs of new U.S. houses by a small amount.

Reporting by Eric Walsh

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