International Trade Minister Mary Ng and B.C. lumber producers say they are disappointed that the US Commerce Department has decided to raise tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber producers.
The US government said on Wednesday that its final combined anti-dumping and countervailing duty rate for most Canadian producers would be 17.9 percent.
This is slightly lower than the initial rate of 18.32 per cent released in May, but double the initial rate of 8.99 per cent.
Ng called on the US to stop imposing “these unfair duties” that harm Canadian communities, business and workers, while also raising the cost of housing and renovations for American consumers.
Final rates for four Canadian producers have been lowered slightly since May. Canfor Corp. the final rate is 19.54 percent, down from 21.04 percent; West Fraser Timber Company Inc. 11.12 percent, down from 11.38 percent; Resolute Forest Products Inc. 29.66 percent, which is less than 30.22 percent; and JD Irving is down 15.82 percent.
The BC Lumber Trade Council says final rates are not unexpected, but disappointing nonetheless, especially since US producers are unable to meet domestic demand.
Council President Susan Yurkovich said, “Our strong expectation is that American industry will end this decades-long litigation and instead work with us to meet the demand for low-carbon wood products, including those in the U.S. Families are also involved.”
“Until then, we will continue to vigorously defend our industry against these baseless allegations.”
Ng said the Canadian government would continue to protect the softwood lumber industry, including litigation under Chapter 19 of the CUSMA trade deal with Canada, the United States and Mexico, Chapter 19 of NAFTA and Chapter 10 of the CUSMA trade deal with the World Trade Organization.
“At every step, the decisions have found Canada to be an appropriate trading partner,” she said in a news release.
“Canada has always been willing to explore ideas that would allow the return of the anticipated cross-border trade in softwood lumber and remain confident that a negotiated solution to this long-standing trade issue will allow workers in both our countries.” in the best interest of.”
Alberta Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development Minister Nate Horner said the high tariffs are completely unacceptable.
“Any tariffs unfairly target our softwood lumber exports and these falling and then rising rates create uncertainty on both sides of the border,” he said in a news release.
Horner said the US is a significant customer with 91 percent of softwood lumber exports, valued at $1.2 billion southbound.
Conservative lawmakers say the softwood lumber duty shows Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promise of a renewed relationship with the US is failing.
“Instead, we’ve got an EV tax credit that contributes to skyrocketing energy prices _ Canadian auto manufacturing, tighter U.S. buyout policies, measures targeting agricultural producers, and action against energy pipelines. And now “The US is targeting Canada again by doubling tariffs on Canadian softwoods,” said Michael Chong, foreign affairs critic, and Randy Hoback, international trade critic.