Continued US duties on Canadian softwood ‘unjustified’ that could hurt housing and jobs on both sides of border

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Many BC ministers are echoing Ottawa’s concerns on US’preliminary decision to continue to apply duties on Canadian softwood and limber exports.

Mary Ng, Canada International trade Minister in a statement said that with preliminary results, the U.S. Department of Commerce has indicated its intention to maintain its unjustified duties on imports of Canadian softwood lumber. “This is a disappointing decision to many on both sides of our shared border.”

Canada has long been an essential supplier to the U.S. market, and these unjustified duties continue to act as a tax on American consumers, increasing building costs at a time of surging inflation. “U.S. duties on Canadian softwood hurt forest sector businesses, workers and communities across Canada, and have been ruled illegal by the WTO,” Ng said.

The U.S. Department of Commerce conducts an annual review of anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders. The recent order reflects preliminary results for the fourth administrative reviews, which do not take effect immediately.The U.S. Department of Commerce is expected to issue final results in summer 2023.

Minister Ng assured that Canada will continue to work closely with provinces, territories and industry to defend Canadian interests through all available avenues, including litigation under NAFTA and the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement and at the WTO.

Joining Ottawa in expressing frustration after on US decision, BC’s ministers Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests; Brenda Bailey, Ministry of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation; and Jagrup Brar, Minister of State for Trade in a joint statement, called it “unjustified duties on B.C. and Canadian softwood lumber exports to the U.S.”

At a time when we need to work together in the face of rising costs related to global inflation, these tariffs are making housing and lumber more expensive, hurting people on both sides of the border, the BC’s ministers said.

“B.C. will always work with the federal government to stand up for the 50,000 hard-working people in our forest industry against these unwarranted duties.”