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Horgan reaffirms fight against U.S. softwood lumber duties

Cedar planks are stacked at a lumber yard in Montreal on April 25th. Canada's softwood lumber industry is bracing for a second wave of U.S. duties expected to come Monday that could put further pressure on producers, particularly smaller ones, to cut jobs. Photo by Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
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VICTORIA, B.C. — B.C. Premier John Horgan said today that his government is committed in the fight against duties imposed by the United States in the ongoing softwood lumber dispute.

Today, the American Department of Commerce announced that the final duty rate of 20.83 percent will be applied to the majority of Canadian softwood lumber shipments entering the U.S. The Department of Commerce’s final countervailing duty rate was set at 14.25 percent, a decrease from the preliminary rate of 19.88 percent announced in the Spring. The final anti-dumping duty rate will be 6.58 percent, which was dropped by only .29 percent.

Four other major forestry companies had the following rates imposed:

  • Canfor: 13.24% (CVD) 8.89% (ADD)
  • Irving: 3.34% (CVD)
  • Resolute: 14.7% (CVD) 3.2% (ADD)
  • Tolko: 14.85% (CVD) 7.22% (ADD)
  • West Fraser: 18.19% (CVD) 5.57% (ADD)

“We will continue to fight for the 60,000 British Columbians who depend on forestry,” said Premier Horgan. “The forest sector is an integral part of B.C.’s sustainable economy, and we will make sure workers, families and communities have the support they need to mitigate the impact of these duties. The reduction in rates by the U.S. Department of Commerce further indicates the strength of our appeal case and strengthens our resolve to fight for B.C.”

About half of Canada’s softwood lumber exports to the United States originate from British Columbia, and the United States is British Columbia’s largest market for softwood lumber products. Over the past year, high lumber prices have helped to mitigate the impact of the softwood lumber duties on B.C. companies.

“This trade action is being driven by the protectionist United States lumber lobby, whose sole purpose is to constrain imports of high-quality Canadian lumber and to drive up lumber prices for their own benefit,” said Susan Yurkovich, president of the BC Lumber Trade Council. “This trade action ultimately punishes American consumers who are now paying higher prices for Canadian lumber when they buy, build or renovate their homes.”

“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. “The U.S. lumber industry cannot produce enough lumber to meet U.S. demand. A reliable source of softwood lumber products from B.C. and Canada will benefit the U.S. housing industry and American home-buyers.”

B.C. will be supporting the federal government in appealing the U.S. Department of Commerce’s findings. The appeals cannot be filed until after the U.S. International Trade Commission issues its determination in December.

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“The dispute with the U.S. highlights the need to grow other markets for B.C. wood products. To that end, I’m leading a forestry sector trade mission with over 35 senior forestry executives to China and Japan later this month. This mission builds on previous work done to grow these important markets,” said Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Minister Doug Donaldson. “As well, we’re also committed to expanding our innovative wood products sector and developing public sector procurement policies that prioritize the use of B.C. wood.”

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