U.S. duties on softwood lumber unjustifiably harm Canada: minister

(Xinhua) 13:33, December 01, 2023

OTTAWA, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- Canada's trade minister said on Thursday that U.S. duties on Canadian softwood lumber are unfounded and unjustifiably harm Canadian businesses and communities.

Issuing a statement on U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) determination on softwood lumber products from Canada, Mary Ng, Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development, said Canada is disappointed that the USITC has determined that the United States can continue to impose unfair and unwarranted duties on Canadian softwood lumber products.

"With significant challenges in housing supply and affordability, these duties also harm U.S. consumers and businesses that need Canadian lumber," Ng said.

"We will continue to use all available avenues to vigorously defend the workers, businesses, and communities who rely on softwood lumber for their livelihoods. This includes pursuing litigation under the North American Free Trade Agreement and Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement, and at the World Trade Organization," Ng added.

The USITC and the U.S. Department of Commerce conduct sunset reviews of countervailing duty and anti-dumping duty orders on a five-year cycle.

The purpose of the USITC's sunset reviews is to determine whether revocation of the duty orders would be likely to lead to the continuation or recurrence of material injury to the U.S. industry and, therefore, whether the United States will continue applying duties against Canadian softwood lumber products.

The results of the USITC sunset review will become official once the determination is issued and published in the U.S. Federal Register, the statement said.

Softwood lumber industry is a key driver of economic activity across Canada and an essential component of the country's forestry sector. Current U.S. softwood lumber duties have subjected most Canadian softwood lumber exports to a combined duty rate of 7.99 percent.

The Canada-U.S. softwood lumber dispute has become one of the most enduring trade disputes between the two neighboring countries. Over the past 25 years, the United States lumber industry has frequently sought U.S. government restrictions on Canadian softwood lumber imports through the application of U.S. countervailing duty and antidumping laws.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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