OTTAWA, O.N. – The federal and provincial government have responded to yesterday’s announcement by the U.S. Department of Commerce that duties of up 24 percent will be imposed on Canadian softwood lumber imports to the United States as of May 1st.
At a press conference in Ottawa this morning, Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr acknowledged that there is a good chance that employers in the forestry sector will lay off workers if a fast solution to the dispute isn’t able to be reached.
“If we look at the history of these trade actions, there inevitably will be job losses,” said Carr. “We will focus our efforts on doing whatever we can to ease the impact of those job losses; that is the reality of this countervail. It is going to result in some tough times for some operators across the country. We are prepared and well-positioned to do whatever governments can reasonably do to help the workers, the industries and the communities that will be affected.”
Carr added that Employment and Social Development Canada is standing by to provide essential services for anyone who is impacted by layoffs.
U-S Customs said yesterday that duties would be collected retroactively for all softwood lumber imports during the previous 90 days.