B.C., Alberta upset by softwood duties
The U.S. Department of Commerce announced on Thursday the final duties it will impose on Canadian softwood lumber imports.
The new levies, which are still subject to approval by the U.S. International Trade Commission, will hit West Fraser (23.76 per cent), Resolute Forest Products (17.9 per cent), Tolko Industries (22.07 per cent), and Canfor (22.13 per cent). All other producers are subject to levies of 20.83 per cent.
The Prime Minister said the duties will weigh on the Canadian forestry industry.
"We’re – I guess – pleased that they’re not as bad as they were before. But, they still represent a burden on forestry workers and communities right across this country," Justin Trudeau told reporters at an event in Brampton, Ont.
PRELIMINARY VS. FINAL SOFTWOOD DUTIES
|Company||Prelim AD||Prelim CVD||Prelim total||Final AD||Final CVD||Final Total||Difference|
(AD = anti-dumping, CVD = countervailing duties.)
Canada's foreign affairs minister called the duties "unfair."
“The U.S. Department of Commerce’s decision on punitive countervailing and anti-dumping duties against Canada's softwood lumber producers is unfair, unwarranted and deeply troubling," Chrystia Freeland said in a statement. "The Government of Canada will continue to vigorously defend our industry against protectionist trade measures."
British Columbia Premier John Horgan was much harsher in his criticism, calling the duties "completely unacceptable."
"It is absolutely unacceptable to me, to my colleagues, to the industry, to workers, and to communities. We [will] ensure that we continue to work with Canada and other provinces to let the United States know that we are free and fair traders," Horgan said Thursday afternoon.
"We will continue to defend our interests. We will prevail. We have prevailed time after time, and we will prevail again."
The Department of Commerce said that Canadian softwood subsidies range from 3.34 per cent to 18.19 per cent.
A written statement from the department said the parties weren’t able to come to terms that were “mutually acceptable.”
“While I am disappointed that a negotiated agreement could not be made between domestic and Canadian softwood producers, the United States is committed to free, fair, and reciprocal trade with Canada,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in the release.
“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 practices.”