Politics

Canada formally launches challenge of 'unfair' U.S. duties on softwood lumber

International Trade Minister Mary Ng says Canada is formally initiating a challenge of "unwarranted and unfair" U.S. duties on Canadian softwood lumber.

Duties harm Canadian businesses, serve as a tax on U.S. consumers: minister

Logs stacked at the Interfor sawmill in Grand Forks, B.C., on May 12, 2018. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press )

International Trade Minister Mary Ng says Canada is formally initiating a challenge of "unwarranted and unfair" U.S. duties on Canadian softwood lumber — a move that was telegraphed earlier this month.

The Canadian government filed notice of the challenge Monday under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement's dispute resolution system.

Ng said in a media statement that the duties harm Canadian businesses and workers but also serve as a tax on U.S. consumers already dealing with inflation and supply-chain issues.

The U.S. cut its anti-dumping and countervailing duty rate in half earlier this month to 8.59 per cent from 17.61 per cent, but Ng signalled that Canada would still fight the measures.

The crux of the U.S. argument is that the stumpage fees provinces charge for timber harvested from Crown land are akin to subsidies, since U.S. producers must instead pay market rates.

Ng said that Canada is willing to work toward a negotiated solution in the long-running dispute.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now