MARY Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, said on Thursday that Canada is disappointed that the United States continues to impose unwarranted and unfair duties on Canadian softwood lumber.
She added: “While the duty rates will decrease from the current levels for the majority of exporters, the only truly fair outcome would be for the United States to cease applying baseless duties to Canadian softwood lumber.”
Ng was responding to the final results of the third administrative reviews by the U.S. Department of Commerce of its anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders on certain softwood lumber products from Canada.
She said: “These duties have caused unjustified harm to the Canadian industry and its workers. They also amount to a tax on U.S. consumers, exacerbating housing unaffordability at a time of increased supply challenges and inflationary pressures.”
Ng said that Canada intended to challenge the final results of the third administrative reviews, including through launching a dispute settlement process under Chapter 10 of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA).
She noted: “Canada’s forestry sector is supporting hundreds of thousands of good, middle-class jobs for Canadians across the country, and we will continue to vigorously defend their interests through all available avenues, including litigation under NAFTA and CUSMA, as well as at the WTO. International tribunals have consistently found the U.S. duties to be unjustified, and we believe this will again be the case.”
Ng said that Canada is a long-standing and reliable partner to the United States and that Canadian lumber products have long met needs in the United States for high-quality, sustainable and innovative building materials.
She said: “Canada has always been willing to work with the United States to explore ideas that could allow for a return to predictable cross-border trade in softwood lumber. We remain confident that a negotiated solution to this long-standing trade issue is in the best interests of both our countries, and we welcome an open dialogue with the Unites States to this end.”
IN B.C., Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation, and George Chow, Minister of State for Trade, said in a statement:
“We continue to be frustrated after’s today’s announcement by the United States Department of Commerce that the U.S. will continue to apply unjustified duties on B.C. and Canadian softwood lumber exports to the U.S.
“At a time when we need to work together in the face of rising costs related to global inflation, these tariffs are making housing and lumber more expensive on both sides of the border.
“B.C. will always stand up for the 50,000 hard-working people in our forest industry against these unwarranted duties.
“Through the challenges presented to the forestry industry we have persevered and we will continue to do so. Our forests make B.C. one of the best places to live. Forests nurture plants, wildlife and fish in watersheds and provide good-paying jobs. As we strive to make a more robust, sustainable forest economy, what we need most is partners across the border who work with us, not against us, in making a stronger forest sector for Canada and the United States.
“We will continue to work with the Government of Canada to advocate for a fair market for B.C. wood products, and vigorously defend against this unfair U.S. trade action on softwood lumber. This includes relentlessly pursuing litigation through all available avenues, including under the North American Free Trade Agreement, the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement and the World Trade Organization.”
“Our government continues to stand with workers and their families while partnering with the federal government to resolve this dispute. We believe the best avenue is an agreement with the United States that benefits all parties.”