Canada's Trudeau say US timber duties will cost 'thousands' of jobs

Anti-Dumping Duties Imposed

The US Commerce Department has announced its preliminary decision on imports of Canadian softwood lumber and is set to impose anti-dumping duties of up to 7.7%.

Commerce will impose anti-dumping duties of up to 7.72% on Canadian lumber, the department said on Monday.

In June, the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled an $867-million aid package to the Canadian forestry industry to offset the effect of American duties on Canadian softwood producers.

The duties, which will range from 4.59 to 7.72 percent, are being applied to Canfor, Resolute, Tolko and West Fraser.

"The homebuilders definitely care but for the most part have believed that these costs will be passed along to the end users - in this case, the home buyers", Miller said.

We are frustrated that the U.S. Department of Commerce has made a decision to impose additional unjustified duties on Ontario's softwood lumber producers.

This time, the U.S.is expected to announce preliminary anti-dumping duties with an average rate of around 10 per cent, which would be added on to the previous levy.

This is the fifth time the US has accused Canada of unfairly subsidizing its softwood industry. "Policymakers need to take steps to significantly reduce red tape that prevents the U.S. Forest Service from better managing its timber lands and increase the delivery of domestic timber products into the market".

"For years, Canada has unfairly distorted the softwood lumber market with billions of dollars in support of their producers", said U.S. Lumber Coalition spokesman Zoltan van Heyningen.

The U.S. has faced resistance around its desire to reduce Canadian producers' market share, though both countries are reportedly looking elsewhere to buy and to sell their product.

The U.S. lumber lobby welcomed the decision of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

They say Canada will "vigorously defend" the forest industry through litigation. As Reuters notes, the bilateral dispute is the fifth over lumber in less than 40 years. The alternative is to be subject to US legal processes created to favour a few select timber barons. A shift toward buying US plants or shifting a customer base eastward instead of southward is something a number of firms have tried, however these solutions generally lead to fewer Canadian jobs as the USA market remains the key driver of the Canadian softwood lumber industry, and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

The duty is to counter subsidies from the Canadian government the US lumber industry insists is giving Canadian forestry companies an unfair advantage because lumber is taken from government owned lands.

Working through our Chief Negotiator, Jim Peterson, we will continue to advocate for free and open trade for Ontario's softwood industry.

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