USA imposes second round of tariffs on Canadian lumber

USA imposes second round of tariffs on Canadian lumber”

WASHINGTON, June 26 The U.S. Commerce Department said on Monday it had made a preliminary decision to exclude three Canadian Atlantic provinces from a U.S. investigation into whether Canada is dumping or subsidizing exports of softwood lumber.

Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a joint statement that they were deeply disappointed by the U.S. Department of Commerce's decision to impose "unfair and punitive anti-dumping duties" against Canada's softwood lumber producers. Combined with preliminary anti-subsidy duties imposed in April, total duties on the key construction material will range from 17.41 percent to 30.88 percent, it said. But he said the general consensus there is that a deal would have been possible had Canada more quickly embraced the Trans Pacific Partnership, a trade deal Obama wanted but which the US has walked away from under President Donald Trump.

It can't do that, however, until the U.S. Department of Commerce makes its final determinations on both duties, expected late this year or early in 2018.

The anti-dumping duties were a bit lower than some analysts had expected, but Trudeau said Tuesday he wasn't going to get into whether Canada's negotiating had anything to do with it.

But long-time trade irritants such as lumber and dairy with Canada may weigh heavily on how fast those discussions move forward despite the advance work being done by coalitions of U.S., Canadian and Mexican business groups to smooth the process. The U.S. Department of Commerce announcement on the rates can be found here. Even so, the US still represents about 50 per cent of B.C. lumber exports, with 30 per cent going to Asia.

"We will vigorously defend Canada's softwood lumber industry, including through litigation", the government said in a statement. Lumber futures in Chicago have jumped this year amid concerns that the trade battle will disrupt supplies.

Canada-based lumber exporters such as Canfor Corporation, Canadian Forest Products Ltd., Resolute FP Canada Inc., Tolko Marketing and Sales Ltd. and Tolko Industries Ltd., West Fraser Mills Ltd. and Canfor Wood Products Marketing Ltd. will be affected.

"The ongoing allegations levelled by the US industry are without merit".

Last month, the New Brunswick government appointed former USA ambassador David Wilkins as the province's special envoy on the softwood trade dispute.

The Commerce Department says it will add a almost eight percent anti-dumping duty on Candadian lumber.

"If they cut back on their shipments to the USA, people are going to want to pay for that better product, and I think that's going to affect pricing across the board", Klingbeil says.

Miller said the White House's very public rollout of the Canadian lumber duties is a way of flexing its muscles ahead of renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

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