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Friday, December 14, 2018
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U.S. Commerce Department announces anti-dumping tariffs on softwood exports

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Canada’s softwood lumber industry was slapped by the U.S. Commerce Department Monday with an additional 6.87 per cent average preliminary anti-dumping duty for six months.

That raises total export tariffs to roughly 27 per cent for about two months until the 19.88 per cent average preliminary countervailing duties come off at the end of August.

Both duties would be reinstated around the end of the year when the rates of the final determinations are set.

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Resolute Forest Products (TSX:RFP) was again assessed Monday with the lowest duties of 4.59 per cent while Canfor (TSX:CFP) gets the highest at 7.72 per cent.

Two other mandatory respondents, West Fraser Timber (TSX:WFT) and Tolko, were tagged with 6.76 and 7.53 per cent duties, respectively.

Countervailing duties target what the U.S. considers unfair subsidies, while anti-dumping tariffs go after the alleged selling of softwood below market value.

The duties were imposed in response to petitions filed in November from the U.S. Lumber Coalition. It alleges that provincial governments, which own most of Canada’s vast timberlands, provide trees to Canadian producers at rates far below market value, along with other subsidies.

In a separate announcement, U-S Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Nova Scotia, P.E.I. and Newfoundland and Labrador would not face the new softwood duties as requested by the American industry and Canadian officials.

That leaves New Brunswick out, and Jerome Pelletier, the chairman of the New Brunswick Lumber Producers, says the anti-dumping duty will put “significant pressure” on producers in the province.

In a joint statement, Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland say they are “deeply disappointed” with the U-S decision to impose what they call “unfair and punitive anti-dumping duties.”

They say Canada will “vigorously defend” the forest industry through litigation.

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