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B.C. officials ‘frustrated’ over U.S. decision to continue lumber duties

DCN-JOC News Services
B.C. officials ‘frustrated’ over U.S. decision to continue lumber duties

VICTORIA, B.C. – B.C. officials are not happy with the U.S.’s latest decision on softwood lumber disputes.

In a final decision, the Commerce department will lower duties but still maintain them. The new combined rate for the duties is 8.6 per cent, down from preliminary rates of 18 per cent.

Katrine Conroy, minister of forests; Ravi Kahlon, minister of jobs, economic recovery and innovation; and George Chow, minister of state for trade issued the following joint statement responding to the decision.

“We continue to be frustrated after’s today’s announcement by the United States Department of Commerce that the U.S. will continue to apply unjustified duties on B.C. and Canadian softwood lumber exports to the U.S.,” the ministers said. “At a time when we need to work together in the face of rising costs related to global inflation, these tariffs are making housing and lumber more expensive on both sides of the border.”

The officials added that roughly 50,000 people work in the province’s forestry sector and are impacted by the duties.

“Through the challenges presented to the forestry industry we have persevered and we will continue to do so,” said the ministers. “Our forests make B.C. one of the best places to live. Forests nurture plants, wildlife and fish in watersheds and provide good-paying jobs. As we strive to make a more robust, sustainable forest economy, what we need most is partners across the border who work with us, not against us, in making a stronger forest sector for Canada and the United States.”

The officials added they plan to continue working with the federal government to advocate for a fair market for B.C. wood products and vigorously defend against this unfair U.S. trade action on softwood lumber.

They plan to “relentlessly” pursue litigation through all available avenues, including under the North American Free Trade Agreement, the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement and the World Trade Organization.

“Our government continues to stand with workers and their families while partnering with the federal government to resolve this dispute. We believe the best avenue is an agreement with the United States that benefits all parties,” said the ministers.

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