HALIFAX -- The U.S. trade representative has started an inquiry under the North American Free Trade Agreement to determine if the Nova Scotia government has offered improper subsidies to a Cape Breton paper mill.
Ron Kirk, in a letter released Thursday by a Maine congressman, said reports about the province's $124-million financial aid package for the Port Hawkesbury Paper mill have raised "troubling questions" about potential injury to American businesses. Kirk said he will seek information from the Canadian government, adding the United States plans to raise the matter at meetings this month at the World Trade Organization.
Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter said the province obtained legal advice regarding a potential NAFTA challenge before the deal was struck. "We also note that the United States has been engaged in mass subsidies to their mills for a considerable period of time."
-- The Canadian Press