Published: Wed, June 28, 2017
Science | By Nancy Frank

BC promises to fight after anti-dumping duties announced

BC promises to fight after anti-dumping duties announced

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.

Ms. Yurkovich said it is too early to detail which B.C. sawmills might be affected, and among those that would be hurt the most, it is hard to forecast potential job losses.

"We welcome the step by the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding consultations on an exclusion for Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland & Labrador from anti-dumping and countervailing duties on softwood".

One of the measures the Liberals had planned to implement to help B.C. lumber producers was a plan to pre-purchase lumber from them for government projects like social housing.

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"The 350,000 hard working men and women in the USA lumber industry deserve a level playing field", spokesman Zoltan van Heyningen said in a statement Monday.

In the trade dispute dating back to the early 1980s, the United States complains that Canadian lumber is unfairly subsidized by provincial governments.

When combined the applicable duty rates range from 30.88 percent to 17.41 percent, the Commerce Department said.

"No other industry impacts as many communities in New Brunswick as forestry and forest products", he said. But Paul Quinn of RBC Capital Markets said that could change because the U.S. Lumber Coalition is pushing for a tough response to the Canadian government's $867-million financial support for the industry, mainly through loans and loan guarantees. Final rates have tended to be lower than preliminary rates. Protectionist duties hurt Canadian companies and communities and also hurt US consumers who choose to build, buy or renovate a new home, she said.

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"Adding this new tariff to the proposed 20% countervailing lumber duty that the Trump administration slapped on imports of lumber this spring means that total tariffs would be a whopping 27%". The group alleges Canadian wood is heavily subsidized and imports are harming USA mills and workers.

"We find it incredibly frustrating the USA industry continues to use litigation as a means to enhance their position and benefit from price volatility that their trade actions create", Yurkovich said on a conference call with reporters.

"We will vigorously defend Canada's softwood lumber industry, including through litigation, and we expect to prevail as we have in the past", the ministers said. "Predictability and stability is needed for the housing industry and the two countries should continue negotiating until a new agreement is reached".

The Canadian Government remains hopeful that a negotiated settlement is possible, and will maintain dialogue with the U.S. administration.

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Results of a final investigation is expected in September to determine if the tariffs are permanent, the release noted.

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