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Feds: U.S. plan to double softwood lumber duties will ‘hurt’ on both sides of border


May 25, 2021
By P&PC Staff

The federal government says businesses in both Canada and the U.S. will be ‘hurt’ by the May 21 announcement that the U.S. plans to double duties on certain Canadian softwood lumber products.

The preliminary results of the second administrative review by the U.S. Department of Commerce propose a combined countervailing and anti-dumping duty rate of 18.32 per cent, which is more than twice the current combined rate of 8.99 per cent.

In a statement, Mary Ng, minister of small business, export promotion and international trade, says that Canada will challenge the review:

“The United States has always relied on Canadian lumber products to meet its domestic needs for high-quality building materials – and with the overwhelming demand from construction markets over the last year, this has never been more true.

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“The U.S. Department of Commerce’s preliminary results of its second administrative review suggest its intention to significantly increase duties on Canadian softwood lumber later this year. This is entirely unjustified and will hurt consumers, businesses and workers on both sides of the border.

“U.S. duties on Canadian softwood lumber products are a tax on the American people. They make housing less affordable for Americans and hinder economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Government of Canada will always vigorously defend its forestry sector, which supports hundreds of thousands of good, middle-class jobs for Canadians across the country.

“We will keep challenging these unwarranted and damaging duties through all available avenues. We remain confident that a negotiated solution to this longstanding trade issue is not only possible, but in the best interest of both our countries,” Ng concludes.

The U.S. Department of Commerce is not expected to issue final results on its review until November 2021.