This Space for Rent

Caveat venditor

A few days ago, a NAFTA review board told the US, for the, um, third time, that duties on Canadian softwoods were illegal and that the US should stop levying them and pay back the money already collected. The US response was pretty much what you'd expect...

... the United States said the extraordinary challenge committee ruling was inconsequential and that it had no intention of scrapping the duty on Canadian softwood that can exceed 20 per cent or refunding the $5-billion in levies collected over the past few years.

What? You expected that the United States would actually enforce a treaty that it signed? No, no, that would set a bad precident; if the US government had to enforce treaties with other countries, pretty soon it would have to start respecting things like Habeas Corpus, which would make the little people think that they actually were worth something.

For what it's worth, the United States has a long and honorable tradition of signing treaties, then turning around and violating them almost before the ink was dry. At least this treaty doesn't involve land, just commerce.

(via Canadian Cynic)