Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations John Rustad has issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Commerce preliminary determination of anti-dumping duties of 6.87 per cent to be applied to the majority of Canadian softwood lumber shipments entering the U.S.
On April 24, Commerce The Commerce Department said it would impose a countervailing duty of between 3 percent and 24 percent on Canadian lumber exporters.
Canada has denied that it subsidizes the lumber industry because producers must pay market prices for wood.
The Commerce Department said that the duties announced Monday were "preliminary" and that it would reach a final determination on September 7. "With the USA housing sector regaining its footing, imposing arbitrary protectionist restrictions to subsidize domestic lumber producers will blunt this forward momentum and make homeownership more expensive for hard-working families", he warned.
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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.
This time, the U.S.is expected to announce preliminary anti-dumping duties with an average rate of around 10 per cent, which would be added on to the previous levy.
The U.S. represented one-third of global lumber imports, with China accounting for 17 per cent. "This has allowed Canadian producers to dump their product on the USA market to the detriment of US manufacturers, as now confirmed by the Department of Commerce".
"For years, Canada has unfairly distorted the softwood lumber market with billions of dollars in support of their producers", van Heyningen said.
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Canada has denied the U.S.'s allegations, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at one point said he would carefully consider retaliatory measures against the U.S. The U.S. previous year imported more than $5 billion worth of softwood lumber from Canada. Lumber futures in Chicago have jumped this year amid concerns that the trade battle will disrupt supplies. The U.S. Lumber Coalition's statement can be found here. Clearly, this is not the way to resolve the U.S.
The trade spat, which has been going on intermittently for decades, was reignited in November when the USA lumber industry filed a petition asking for duties. Protectionist duties hurt Canadian companies and communities and also hurt USA consumers who choose to build, buy or renovate a new home, Susan Yurkovich, the council's president, said on a conference call with reporters.
Koopman Lumber in MA also buys about 80 percent of its lumber from Canada and experienced price increases on Canadian lumber initially. "This was proven in the last round of litigation and we fully expect it will be again". 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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