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B.C. ministers express concerns over U.S. decision to maintain softwood lumber duties

February 2, 2024  By CFI Staff

Photo: Annex Business Media

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s decision to sustain tariffs on British Columbia’s softwood lumber exports has drawn disappointment from Canadian ministers.

Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests; Brenda Bailey, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation; Jagrup Brar, Minister of State for Trade; and Andrew Mercier, Minister of State for Sustainable Forestry Innovation, have jointly expressed concerns over the impact on both Canadian and American stakeholders.

In a unified statement, the ministers highlighted the obstacles posed to the development of a reliable and sustainable forest industry in B.C. They cited increased prices and market instability on both sides of the border, emphasizing the detrimental effects on the 56,000 workers in B.C.’s forest industry.

The ministers pledged collaboration with federal counterparts, vowing to pursue legal avenues, including actions under NAFTA, CUSMA, and the WTO, to address what they deemed unjust treatment.


Despite the setback, the ministers affirmed their dedication to expanding markets for B.C. wood products through innovative strategies and global trade relationships. They reassured the public of their unwavering focus on achieving a fair resolution for B.C.’s forest sector, pledging continued collaboration with federal and provincial partners.

“Our government will always stand with workers and their families,” the ministers affirmed in their concluding statement.

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