Canada's Trudeau say United States timber duties will cost 'thousands' of jobs

Softwood lumber

"Adding this new tariff to the proposed 20 percent countervailing lumber duty that the Trump administration slapped on imports of lumber this spring means that total tariffs would be a whopping 27 percent".

Canada has denied that it subsidizes the lumber industry because producers must pay market prices for wood.

The duties, which will range from 4.59 to 7.72 percent, are being applied to Canfor, Resolute, Tolko and West Fraser.

The ongoing dispute with the US was debated in the B.C. legislature today, with the NDP challenging the Liberals to support a non-confidence motion that would allow the NDP to form government so it can get to work on the softwood lumber file.

Once the final determinations have been made by the U.S. Department of Commerce, we'll be working closely with the federal government and B.C. industry on launching appeals.

The duties will continue to be collected until a final decision by the U.S.is issued later this summer. Carr and Freeland also said they would welcome a U.S. Department of Commerce commitment to consider an exclusion for New Brunswick.

Tariffs the US government implemented in late April on Canadian softwood lumber haven't had a jarring impact on lumber prices in the U.S.so far, according to some American lumberyard owners. US stocks were little changed on news of the tariffs, which were well below what the petitioners requesting the investigation had asked for. In June, the Canadian government announced it would provide almost $1 billion in additional subsidies to the Canadian softwood lumber industry.

"We will continue our determined efforts to maintain a dialogue with our American counterparts to encourage them to rescind this unwarranted trade action and come to a durable negotiated agreement on softwood lumber that is good for Canada as well as its forestry workers, producers and affected communities". The alternative is to be subject to USA legal processes created to favour a few select timber barons.

Last year, imports of Canadian softwood lumber to the US were valued at an estimated $5.66 billion, according to the US Commerce Department. A shift toward buying US plants or shifting a customer base eastward instead of southward is something a number of firms have tried, however these solutions generally lead to fewer Canadian jobs as the USA market remains the key driver of the Canadian softwood lumber industry, and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

While Mr. Ross and President Donald Trump have both prominently highlighted the dispute, it actually dates back decades, and the USA has repeatedly over the years taken measures to try to block Canadian softwood. The government says Canada has always prevailed against the accusations before the World Trade Organization or under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

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