April 25, 2017 / 6:47 PM / 2 years ago

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

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. REUTERS/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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