USA reduces softwood lumber duties for all but two Canadian producers

Premier Stephen McNeil

The Commerce Department determined that exporters from Canada have sold softwood lumber the United States at 3.20 percent to 8.89 percent less than fair value.

"While I am disappointed that a negotiated agreement could not be made between domestic and Canadian softwood producers, the United States is committed to free, fair and reciprocal trade with Canada", said Secretary Ross.

The U.S. on Thursday cut tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber but still insists the Canadian government is "providing unfair subsidies" to its producers, APA reports quoting AA. If the ITC finds that US producers were not injured by Canadian softwood imports, the Commerce Department's case will be terminated.

The department said it had determined that Canadian exporters have sold softwood lumber to the U.S. at 3.2-8.89% less than fair value.

The 2006 softwood lumber agreement between Canada and the United States expired in October, 2015.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr released a joint statement today saying the federal government will turn to litigation if required to defend the industry and that it expects to win - as it has in the past.

The Canadian Government has described the US Department of Commerce's decision to impose countervailing and anti-dumping duties against imports of softwood lumber as "unfair, unwarranted, and deeply troubling".

"The U.S. continues to attack its closest friend, neighbour and ally while domestically the U.S. lumber coalition continues to put the interest of its members ahead of what is good for the American economy and American consumers", said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology. While the tariffs aren't as bad as they were before, they still "represent a burden on forestry workers and communities right across the country", he said. That move turned out to be successful in 2017, with the Commerce Department deciding to penalize Canadian producers, first with countervailing duties starting on April 28 and then anti-dumping duties beginning on June 30.

The development in the long-running trade dispute followed last month's apparent deadlock in trilateral talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, in which Canadian, US and Mexican officials have traded accusations of intransigence.

"Home builders and home owners are already dealing with the monumental rebuilding efforts in the aftermath of the devastating hurricane season and California wildfires", Granger said.

The U.S. International Trade Commission has 45 days to issue its final determination on whether the American lumber industry suffered harm.

"We urge the USA administration to rescind these duties, which harm workers and communities in Canada", Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a joint statement with Canadian Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr.

The lumber duties are "unjust and punitive" and Canada will continue to push back against American industry, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters in Brampton, Ontario. These duties are a tax on American middle-class families too, whose homes, renovations and repairs will only be more expensive.

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