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Horgan issues statement after softwood duties confirmed

Logs are unloaded at Murray Brothers Lumber Company woodlot in Madawaska, Ont. in April. Photo by Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press
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VICTORIA, B.C. — Premier John Horgan issued a statement Thursday in response to the U.S. International Trade Commission’s finding of “material injury” on Canadian softwood lumber exports to the United States.

The ruling means that the U.S. will continue to apply countervailing duties imposed by the Department of Commerce on Canadian softwood lumber products since its preliminary determination on April 28th. However, the ITC did not find critical circumstances in the anti-dumping case, meaning that retroactive anti-dumping duties will not be applied.

About half of Canada’s softwood lumber exports to the U.S. originate from British Columbia and the U.S. is British Columbia’s largest market for softwood lumber products. In 2016, the B.C. forest sector supported 60,000 direct jobs and one in four manufacturing jobs.

“Today’s ruling, though not unexpected, means that B.C. and Canadian forest companies must continue to pay unfair and unwarranted duties, to make U.S. lumber companies and land owners even richer at the expense of Canadian exporters and American consumers and builders.

We’re working closely with the federal government, other provinces and B.C. companies to seek a fair hearing of the issues through all the channels that are available to us. Canada has already filed appeals to the World Trade Organization, and notices to appeal under NAFTA. We believe an independent tribunal will find that the current U.S. allegations against Canada are as unfounded as the ones they brought in the past.

We will continue to defend B.C.’s interests in the softwood lumber dispute and the 60,000 people who rely on B.C.’s forest sector for their jobs and livelihoods.

We will continue to pursue growth in markets for B.C. wood products both at home and abroad by promoting innovation and expanding trade relationships with Asian markets.”

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