Continued US duties on Canadian softwood lumber ‘unwarranted’, minister says – National | PKBNEWS

Canada’s Minister of International Trade says the United States appears to be imposing what she calls “unjustified” duties on imports of softwood lumber.

Mary Ng says the anti-dumping and countervailing duties imposed by the United States on Canadian softwood lumber are little more than a tax on American consumers.

A series of documents filed today by the US Department of Commerce, the latest in a series of reviews of the dispute, indicate that anti-dumping and countervailing duties are not going away.

The latest combined tariff rates – which are preliminary and will not come into effect until after a final review scheduled for this summer – are between 7.29 and 9.38%.

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Canada to formally challenge ‘unwarranted and unjust’ US softwood lumber duties

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Ng calls the results of the review “disappointing” for forest sector workers, businesses and communities on both sides of the Canada-US border.

She says Canada will use all means to fight the duties, including litigation under NAFTA and its successor, the United States-Mexico-Canada agreement, as well as before the World Trade Organization .

“With these preliminary results, the U.S. Department of Commerce has signaled its intent to maintain its unjustified duties on imports of Canadian softwood lumber,” Ng said in a statement Tuesday.

“Canada remains ready and willing to find solutions that allow a return to predictable cross-border trade in softwood lumber. We are convinced that a negotiated solution to this long-standing problem is in the interest of both our countries. »

The United States wants Canada to tackle the provincial stumpage regime that U.S. producers have long complained about and which gives producers north of the border an unfair advantage – the central issue in a dispute that has been going on for decades.

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Ottawa, however, insists that such a fundamental change in the way a key Crown resource is managed is not on the table.

Timber-producing provinces set stumpage fees for timber harvested from Crown land – a system that US producers, forced to pay market rates, say amounts to an unfair subsidy.

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