WASHINGTON – The United States and Canada failed to settle a festering trade dispute on softwood lumber ahead of talks to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), but Reuters reports that officials from both countries have said they will keep the lumber negotiations on a separate, parallel track.

Both U.S. lumber producers and Canadian officials say they are not close to completing a quota deal that would limit Canadian lumber mills to a specific percentage of the U.S. market.

James Rockas, a U.S. Commerce Department spokesman, said that U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross would continue to seek a negotiated settlement to the dispute until Commerce issues final anti-subsidy duties and anti-dumping duties, which is currently scheduled for Sept. 7.

“Once Commerce announces a final determination on countervailing and/or anti-dumping duties, a softwood lumber agreement would have to be negotiated under other authorities,” he said.

Read the full Reuters story here.