‘Disappointing’ US pushes to impose tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber:


Canada’s international trade minister said the United States appeared to be pushing for what she called “unwarranted” tariffs on imported softwood lumber.

Mary Ng said the anti-dumping and countervailing duties the United States imposes on Canadian softwood lumber are no more than taxes on American consumers.

A series of documents filed by the US Department of Commerce today, just the latest in a series of assessments of the dispute, suggest that antidumping and countervailing duties are not going away.

The latest combined tariffs – which are preliminary and won’t come into effect until after a final review is expected this summer – range from 7.29 to 9.38%.

Ng called the assessment results disappointing for forestry workers, businesses and communities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border.

She said Canada would use all means to fight its obligations, including litigation under NAFTA and its successor, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, as well as at the World Trade Organization.

“With these preliminary results, the U.S. Department of Commerce has indicated its intent to maintain unjustified tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber imports,” Ng said in a statement Tuesday.

“Canada remains ready and willing to seek solutions that allow a predictable return to cross-border trade in softwood lumber. We believe there is a negotiated solution to this longstanding problem. is in the best interests of both of our countries.”

The United States wants Canada to address the provincial fee scheme that US manufacturers have long complained gives manufacturers north of the border an unfair advantage – the core issue in a contentious dispute. The dispute has lasted for decades.

However, Ottawa insists that such a fundamental change to the way the Crown is managed a vital resource is not on the table.

Timber-producing provinces stipulate a base fee for timber harvested from Crown land – a system where US producers, forced to pay market prices, are believed to be an unfair subsidy.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on January 24, 2023.

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