No tariffs on NL softwood lumber products headed to US

Frederick Owens
November 4, 2017

Early in his tenure as Commerce Secretary, Mr. Ross proposed a deal based on stumpage fees, in which Canada would agree to a market mechanism for calculating what companies would pay to fell timber, the source said.

"While significant efforts were made by the United States and Canada, and the respective softwood lumber industries, to reach a long-term settlement to this on-going trade dispute, the".

In a joint statement on Thursday, Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr said they "will forcefully defend" the domestic softwood lumber industry.

One source with knowledge of the softwood discussions said the impediment to a deal was the USA lumber industry, which appeared to prefer hitting Canada with tariffs than agreeing to a negotiated settlement. "With a fair-trade environment, the US industry, and the 350,000 hardworking men and women who support it, have the ability to grow production to meet much more of our country's softwood lumber demand". "This decision is based on a full and unbiased review of the facts in an open and transparent process that defends American workers and businesses from unfair trade practises".

The 2006 softwood lumber agreement between Canada and the United States expired in October, 2015.

Final average countervailing duties of 14.25 percent and anti-dumping duties of 6.58 percent will be levied on Canadian producers, the U.S. Department of Commerce said Thursday in a statement. "A reliable source of softwood lumber products from B.C. and Canada will benefit the USA housing industry and American home-buyers".

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The U.S. Lumber Coalition said they are pleased with the duties because it means the U.S. lumber industry "can compete on a level playing field".

The U.S. International Trade Commission will decide on December 18 whether the tariffs will take effect because the American industry has been damaged. "This administration must fully enforce America's trade laws, not just for the mills and workers in OR and across the country, but for the communities that depend on them". Canada also is providing unfair subsidies to its producers at rates from 3.34 percent to 18.19 percent.

Zoltan van Heyningen, executive director of the U.S. Lumber Coalition, denied that the American industry was the barrier to a deal. Those talks are continuing parallel to talks with the US over the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Granger MacDonald, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders, said the softwood tariffs come as home builders and homeowners are rebuilding in the aftermath of hurricanes and California wildfire.

The lumber duties are "unjust and punitive" and Canada will continue to push back against American industry, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters in Brampton, Ontario. "This tariff only adds to the burden by harming housing affordability and artificially boosting the price of lumber". "These duties are a tax on American middle class families, too, whose homes, renovations and repairs will only be more expensive". In the last two lumber disputes, Canada won appeals of each countervailing duty order that the U.S. Department of Commerce imposed and each injury determination by the U.S. International Trade Commission.

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