The agreement was designed to end a long-running trade dispute that centred on the alleged subsidisation of the Canadian lumber industry but, since its introduction on October 12, 2006 further questions have been raised by the US over Canada’s efforts to comply.

Now Ms Schwab has called for talks between the two countries to assess how the agreement is being implemented.

And Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has welcomed the move as it will allow the US to make sure that “Canada plays by the rules”.