‘Unfair, unwarranted and deeply troubling’: U.S. sets final import duties on Canadian softwood lumber


The U.S. Mercantilism Department on Thursday announced it will impose finalized softwood ends import duties on several Canadian firms.

The U.S. government said Canadian impresari were selling into the U.S. market at less than fair value, and influenced Canada was providing “unfair subsidies” to domestic producers.

“While I am disheartened that a negotiated agreement could not be made between domestic and Canadian softwood regisseurs, the United States is committed to free, fair and reciprocal trade with Canada,” said Trade Secretary Wilbur Ross in a statement.

“This decision is based on a engaged and unbiased review of the facts in an open and transparent process that defends American labourers and businesses from unfair trade practices,” Ross said.

In a connection statement, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland and Curate of Natural Resources Jim Carr called the U.S. decision against Canada’s softwood encumber producers “unfair, unwarranted and deeply troubling.”

“We will forcefully fend Canada’s softwood lumber industry, including through litigation, and we contemplate to prevail as we have in the past,” Freeland and Carr said. “We are reviewing our elections, including legal action through the North American Free Buying Agreement and the World Trade Organization, and we will not delay in taking fight.”

Finalized figures

The U.S. government says that exporters from Canada cause sold softwood lumber in the U.S. market at 3.20 per cent to 8.89 per cent unimaginative than fair value. The Commerce Department also said Canada is supply unfair subsidies to its producers of softwood lumber at rates from 3.34 per cent to 18.19 per cent.

According to the Mercantilism Department, duties on Canfor and Tolko will be just over 22 per cent, while Set will see duties totalling just under 18 per cent. West Fraser will see assignments of more than 23 per cent. All other producers will see devoirs of just under 21 per cent.

Most of the Canadian producers in fact saw their duties reduced from a preliminary ruling by the U.S. earlier this year. Montreal-based Unshakable Forest Products and J.D. Irving’s will pay slightly higher duties.

Guests disappointed

Resolute spokesperson Seth Kursman said the company was frustrated with the ruling.

“We remain confident that Quebec and Ontario should prepare nothing less than free unencumbered access to the U.S. market part,” he said in a statement to CBC News.

Kursman added: “It’s important to keep in reproach that the only people who benefit from this are large woodland barons in the U.S. It’s important to keep in mind that the U.S. can’t supply all of its domestic softwood when requested. So 30-35 per cent historically has come from Canada.”

The U.S. decision excludes softwood beams products certified by the Atlantic Lumber Board as being first produced in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, or Prince Edward Holm from logs harvested in those provinces.

The U.S. Commerce Department prognosticated imports of softwood lumber from Canada in 2016 were valued at an reckoned $5.66 billion US.

The Commerce Department’s determination must still be approved by the U.S. Universal Trade Commission, which is scheduled to make its final determinations by Dec. 18, 2017.

If the ITC admits with Thursday’s decision, the Commerce Department will issue orders to summon up the duties. If the ITC finds that U.S. producers were not injured by Canadian softwood introduces, the Commerce Department’s case will be terminated.

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