CANADA

Lumber Ruling Angers Government

Canadian officials were angered over a preliminary World Trade Organization ruling that found the United States had properly complied with international law by imposing billions of dollars in duties against Canadian lumber companies.

The finding has infuriated Canadian officials, who say an earlier NAFTA ruling means Washington must reimburse more than $4.1 billion in punitive tariffs levied against Canadian lumber companies since 2002.

ITALY

No U.S. Trial for Parmalat Shareholders

A U.S. bankruptcy judge ruled that a group of Parmalat Finanziaria shareholders cannot pursue $800 million in claims against the company in a New York court and instead must litigate the matter in Italy. About 60 shareholders had sought to have the injunction lifted so they could pursue their claims in New York.

Minister Wants Bank Chief to Quit

Bank of Italy head Antonio Fazio should resign, Italy's European affairs minister wrote in an editorial for the Italian Republican Party newspaper. Allegations that Fazio favored Banca Popolare Italiana Scarl's takeover offer for Banca Antonveneta over that of Dutch bank ABN Amro Holding led to calls for reforms and Fazio's resignation.

Giorgio La Malfa, a Fazio supporter, became the first member of the government to publicly call for his resignation. La Malfa wrote that although Fazio's behavior should not be criticized, he should consider stepping down "in the interests of the state and of the Bank of Italy."

EUROPE

E.U. Warned on Chinese Goods

European Union Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson said people will pay higher prices and face clothing shortages if more than 80 million Chinese garments worth about $488 million are kept from entering Europe. He wants the 25 E.U. nations to permit clothing shipments that exceed a quota on Chinese imports he put into place in June to protect European manufacturers.

Northern European countries generally want to admit the clothing. Many southern European countries pushed Mandelson to act after a global quota system ended on Jan. 1.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.