Wood Business

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BC gov: increased US softwood lumber duties would increase cost of housing and construction


May 21, 2021
By CFI Staff

The U.S. Department of Commerce earlier today announced it had finished its second administrative review and is seeking to increase the softwood lumber duty on Canadian lumber to 18.32 per cent.

B.C. Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Katrine Conroy and B.C. Minister of State for Trade George Chow released a statement in response:

“B.C. is frustrated and very concerned about the continued effect these unjustified punitive duties are having on our forest sector and on the families in communities throughout B.C. whose livelihoods depend on it.

These unfair U.S. duties have been compounding the costs for construction, resulting in rising housing costs on both sides of the border. If the duties go up even more, so will the cost of housing and construction.

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Higher duties on Canadian softwood lumber not only hurt B.C. and Canadian businesses, they are a tax on consumers, including homebuyers in the U.S., that makes housing less affordable for American families and threatens post-pandemic economic recovery.

Now, more than ever, it’s essential to keep supply chains open for both sides of the border as Canada and the U.S. enter the next, post-vaccination phase of our economic recovery. We need open and stable supply chains for both countries to prosper during recovery, not trade barriers.

B.C. will continue to vigorously defend the 50,000 hardworking people in our forest industry against these unwarranted duties. We will continue to work alongside the federal government to challenge these unjustified duties through the World Trade Organization and Canada-U.S.-Mexico agreement dispute settlement systems in the future.

We will also continue our work in pursuing growth in markets for B.C. wood products both at home and abroad by promoting innovation and by expanding our trade relationships in global markets.”