Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

Ottawa denounces rise in US customs tariffs on lumber | Lumber conflict

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Lumber at the Résolu Forest Products sawmill in Senneterre.

The Canadian Press

The federal government denounces the intention of the American Department of Trade to increase tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber.

Federal International Trade Minister Mary Ng said Thursday that the United States has announced plans to increase the tariff from 8.05% to 13.86%.

Ng calls the decision disappointing and completely unjustified.

This is just the latest salvo of a bilateral exchange that Ottawa describes as a brake on efforts to improve the cost and supply of housing.

Last month, Minister Ng pledged to challenge the U.S. International Trade Commission's decision to maintain tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber.

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She says Canada will fight these rights by every means available, including through litigation under existing trade agreements, as well as before the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United States Tribunal for International Trade. -United.

Canada is very disappointed that the United States Department of Commerce has announced its intention to significantly increase its duties on softwood lumber from Canada. This measure is completely unjustified.

A quote from Mary Ng, Federal Minister of International Trade

We will continue to work closely with the provinces , territories and industry to defend Canadian interests by all means available, assures Ms. Ng.

At the same time, she adds that the federal government is ready to negotiate a solution to this dispute which has tainted relations between Canada and the United States for decades.

Canada is convinced that the end of these unfair American rights will benefit both countries. We remain ready to work with the United States to find a negotiated solution that allows a return to predictable cross-border trade in softwood lumber.

Last October, Canada welcomed the decision of a dispute resolution panel of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which concluded that certain aspects of the way the United States calculate duties are inconsistent with U.S. federal law.

Under U.S. tariff law, it is the Department of Commerce which determines whether goods are sold at less than fair value or receive subsidies from foreign governments.

In Canada, Timber-producing provinces set stumpage fees for timber harvested on Crown land, a system that American producers – forced to pay market rates – view as an unfair subsidy.

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