BC Lumber Trade Council Welcomes Trade Agreement with U.S. and Mexico

(Vancouver, B.C.) - The BC Lumber Trade Council issued a statement today with respect to Canada and the U.S. concluding the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement [USMCA].

"BC lumber producers congratulate Minister Chrystia Freeland and the Government of Canada on reaching a renewed trade agreement that preserves the dispute resolution mechanism previously contained in Chapter 19 of NAFTA," said Susan Yurkovich, President of the BC Lumber Trade Council. 

"Chapter 10 of the new agreement maintains, for Canada and the U.S only, a binational panel review mechanism for reviewing anti-dumping and countervailing duty determinations by either country," added Yurkovich. "Having a robust and fair dispute resolution mechanism is absolutely critical to maintaining a rules-based trading system and providing an avenue for Canada and Canadian companies to appeal unwarranted duties."

While achieving a renewed trade agreement is a major step forward, the ongoing softwood lumber remains unresolved.

"The duties imposed by the U.S. Department of Commerce on Canadian softwood lumber are punitive and unfair, and are driven by the U.S. lumber lobby solely for the purpose of constraining imports of high-quality Canadian lumber to drive up prices for their own benefit. Ultimately these duties punish consumers and workers on both sides of the border," said Yurkovich. "Finding a durable resolution to the softwood lumber dispute must remain a key priority."

B.C. is the largest Canadian exporter of softwood lumber to the U.S., making up about half of Canada's total lumber exports. The B.C. forest industry is a major contributor to the provincial economy and supports approximately 140,000 jobs in the province. The BC Lumber Trade Council is the voice of trade matters for companies in British Columbia representing the majority of B.C. lumber production.

 

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Media Contact:

Mina Laudan
778.990.0701
www.bclumbertrade.com
@BCLumberTrade

 

BC Lumber Producers Welcome Government of Canada’s Appeal to the WTO

VANCOUVER, B.C. –  Susan Yurkovich, President of the BC Lumber Trade Council made the following statement today on the Government of Canada’s legal action filed with the World Trade Organization [WTO]:

 “B.C. lumber producers welcome the Government of Canada’s efforts to vigorously defend Canada’s interests in trade relations with the U.S.  In particular, the Government of Canada has requested that the WTO examine the use of certain systemic trade practices that violate international trade law.

For decades, the Canadian lumber industry has been subject to unfair and unwarranted duties imposed by the U.S. Department of Commerce, and has filed appeals under the NAFTA and WTO agreements. We know that when unbiased entities review these unfair trade practices, they have found in Canada’s favour.

Canada and the U.S. enjoy one of the most productive trading relationships in the world. However, this relationship depends on fair process and practices.  As such, BC Lumber Trade Council fully supports the Government of Canada’s efforts to have the WTO review these trade practices.”

B.C. is the largest Canadian exporter of softwood lumber to the U.S. The B.C. forest industry is a major contributor to the provincial economy and supports approximately 145,000 direct and indirect jobs in the province. The BC Lumber Trade Council is the voice on trade matters for companies in British Columbia representing the majority of B.C. lumber production.

Media Contact:

Mina Laudan
778.990.0701
www.bclumbertrade.com
@BCLumberTrade

U.S. Panel Ruling on Softwood Lumber Completely Without Merit

BC Lumber Producers Will Appeal Ruling and Vigorously Defend Industry

VANCOUVER, B.C. – Susan Yurkovich, President of the BC Lumber Trade Council made the following statement today on the affirmative injury decision issued today by the U.S. International Trade Commission [ITC] on softwood lumber.

“The ruling today, while not unexpected, is completely without merit. The ITC finding of ‘injury’, despite the current record-setting profitability of the U.S. lumber industry, makes it very clear that this was not an objective evaluation of the facts.

There can be no doubt that this process is biased in favour of the U.S. industry. To our knowledge, the ITC has never before reached an affirmative decision of injury when an industry was enjoying the most profitable period in its history, which is the case today for the U.S. lumber industry. 

The fact is, there is no injury to U.S. producers and we are fully prepared to fight this egregious decision. We will initiate appeals as soon as possible and, working with both federal and provincial governments, we are confident that the ITC decision will be overturned. It is noteworthy that in both Lumber 3 and Lumber 4, not one of the decisions issued by the ITC survived independent appeals, before both NAFTA and WTO panels.   

We are confident that this latest decision by the ITC will again be reversed. The U.S. Coalition’s claims of injury ring particularly hollow given the extraordinary financial performance that the U.S. lumber industry is enjoying, and given that Canadian imports are at a lower level today than at the levels deemed non-injurious under both the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement and by the ITC itself in the last round of litigation.”

B.C. is the largest Canadian exporter of softwood lumber to the U.S. The B.C. forest industry is a major contributor to the provincial economy and supports approximately 145,000 direct and indirect jobs in the province. The BC Lumber Trade Council is the voice on trade matters for companies in British Columbia representing the majority of B.C. lumber production.

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Media Contact:
Mina Laudan
778.990.0701
www.bclumbertrade.com
@BCLumberTrade

 

BC Lumber Trade Council supports Canada's WTO challenge against unfair US duties

BC Lumber Trade Council welcomes the Government of Canada’s decision to go to the World Trade Organization [WTO] to file a challenge against the U.S. Department of Commerce’s final determinations on anti-dumping and countervailing duties on softwood lumber.

These lumber duties are unfair and completely without merit. U.S. Department of Commerce’s practices in their investigation into Canadian lumber have been ruled illegal by the WTO in the past and we expect to be successful again in seeking that the U.S. comply with international trade rules.

BCLTC WTO statement Nov 28 2017.jpg

B.C. Lumber Producers Will Vigorously Defend Industry Against U.S. Trade Action

Duties on Softwood Lumber Punish American Consumers, Workers and Homebuilders

VANCOUVER, B.C. –  B.C. lumber producers will continue to vigorously defend against the U.S. trade action on softwood lumber following the announcement today by the U.S. Department of Commerce on final duty rates. The combined duty rates for BC companies range from 20.83% to 23.76%.

“This decision by the U.S. Department of Commerce reduces the overall combined rates announced earlier this year,” said Susan Yurkovich, President of the BC Lumber Trade Council. “While we haven’t yet seen the reasons for the decision, it’s clear that the U.S. industry has been wholly unsuccessful with their attempt to push the Commerce Department to see these rates increased. While the rates are lower, the fact that any duties remain in place is disappointing. As we have consistently said, these duties are unwarranted and this trade action is completely without merit.” 

“This trade action is being driven by the protectionist U.S. lumber lobby whose sole purpose is to constrain imports of high-quality Canadian lumber and to drive up lumber prices for their own benefit,” said Yurkovich. “Ultimately, this punishes American consumers who are now paying higher prices for Canadian lumber when they buy, build or renovate their homes.”

Lumber producers will be required to pay the revised anti-dumping duty rate within days. The final countervailing duty rate would be imposed if and when the U.S. International Trade Commission makes a final determination on injury. This decision is expected no later than December 18, 2017.

“B.C. lumber producers continue to believe that reaching a new agreement is in the best interests of producers, workers and consumers on both sides of the border,” added Yurkovich. “Unfortunately, the U.S. industry does not appear to be interested in finding a durable solution to this dispute. As such, we will continue to work with the provincial and federal governments to vigorously defend our industry against these allegations.”

B.C. is the largest Canadian exporter of softwood lumber to the U.S. The B.C. forest industry is a major contributor to the provincial economy and supports approximately 140,000 direct and indirect jobs in the province. The BC Lumber Trade Council is the voice on trade matters for companies in British Columbia representing the majority of B.C. lumber production.

Duty Rates for B.C. Companies

Duty Chart.png

U.S. duties on softwood lumber climb with latest decision on anti-dumping

B.C. lumber producers continue to vigorously defend against additional duties

VANCOUVER, B.C. – B.C. lumber producers will continue to vigorously defend the industry against a new round of preliminary anti-dumping duties imposed by the U.S. Department of Commerce on Canadian softwood lumber.  

“These duties result from the trade action which is part of the continued attempt by the protectionist U.S. lumber lobby to constrain imports of high-quality Canadian lumber into the U.S. market and to drive up prices for their benefit,” said Susan Yurkovich, President of the BC Lumber Trade Council. “The ongoing allegations levelled by the U.S. industry are without merit.  This was proven in the last round of litigation and we fully expect it will be the case again.”

The preliminary anti-dumping rates imposed by the U.S. today are as follows:  Canfor 7.72%, Resolute 4.59%, Tolko 7.53%, West Fraser 6.76%, and 6.87% for ‘all others.’ These anti-dumping duties are in addition to the preliminary countervailing duties imposed in April 2017 and result in a combined duty rate ranging from 26.75% to 30.88% for B.C. producers.

“Canada and the U.S. enjoy one of the most productive trading relationships in the world, and the North American lumber market has always been served by both American and Canadian producers,” said Yurkovich. “American demand for lumber exceeds what the U.S. lumber industry currently produces, and there is enough demand in North America to grow the U.S. industry while also allowing Canada to continue to supply our U.S customers as we have been doing for decades. Canadian lumber companies have always traded fairly.  This action by the U.S. lumber lobby ultimately punishes American consumers who are faced with higher lumber prices when they buy, build or renovate their home.”

“BC Lumber Trade Council continues to believe that reaching a new agreement is in the best interests of producers and consumers on both sides of the border and we will continue to work closely with our provincial and federal governments to support efforts to reach a new agreement. However, we will also continue to vigorously defend our industry and our workers against these unwarranted duties and we expect to be successful as we have been in the past.”

B.C. is the largest Canadian exporter of softwood lumber to the U.S. The B.C. forest industry is a major contributor to the provincial economy and supports approximately 145,000 direct and indirect jobs in the province. The BC Lumber Trade Council is the voice on trade matters for companies in British Columbia representing the majority of B.C. lumber production.

Media Contact:
Mina Laudan
media@bclumbertrade.com
778.990.0701
@BCLumberTrade

BC Lumber Producers Welcome Government of Canada Support for Forestry Workers and Communities

VANCOUVER, B.C. – The BC Lumber Trade Council (BCLTC) welcomes the federal government announcement today of measures to support forestry workers and communities impacted by the duties imposed by the U.S. on softwood lumber.

“BC lumber producers welcome the announcement today of measures to support forestry workers and communities during this trade dispute, as well as promoting forest sector diversification, overseas marketing and innovation,” said Susan Yurkovich, President of the BC Lumber Trade Council.

“This package is a prudent response that can provide both immediate support for workers and communities if required, along with enabling additional investments in longer-term opportunities for the sector,” added Yurkovich. “We particularly appreciate the investment in expanding markets for Canada’s high-quality forest products overseas which will help to further diversify our markets.”

 “We know that the federal government, including the Prime Minister, Minister Jim Carr, Minister Chrystia Freeland and Minister François-Philippe Champagne, continues to make softwood lumber and the forest sector a top priority,” said Yurkovich. “They, along with industry and provincial governments, are doing everything possible to defend our interests on softwood lumber.”

“The BC Lumber Trade Council continues to believe that reaching a new agreement is in the best interests of producers and consumers on both sides of the border,” added Yurkovich.  “However, in the absence of an agreement, we will continue to work alongside the provincial and federal governments to vigorously defend our industry.  With government and industry standing together, we know we will be successful as we have in the past.”

B.C. is the largest producer of softwood lumber and represents about 50 per cent of Canadian exports to the U.S. The B.C. forest industry is the cornerstone of the provincial economy, and supports approximately 145,000 direct and indirect jobs in the province. The BC Lumber Trade Council is the voice on trade matters for companies in British Columbia representing the majority of B.C. lumber production.

Contact:

Mina Laudan
media@bclumbertrade.com
778.990.0701

B.C. Lumber Producers to Vigorously Defend Against U.S. Duties on Softwood Lumber

Lumber tariffs will mean American job losses and higher American consumer costs

VANCOUVER, BC – Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce imposed punitive preliminary countervailing duty rates on Canadian softwood lumber in response to a petition filed by the protectionist lumber lobby in United States. In this preliminary determination, countervailing duty rates imposed are as follows: Canfor 20.26%, JD Irving 3.02%, Resolute 12.82%, Tolko 19.5%, West Fraser 24.12%, and 19.88% for all other British Columbian and Canadian producers. 

“These duties are unwarranted, and this determination is completely without merit,” said Susan Yurkovich, President of the BC Lumber Trade Council.  “The allegations made by the U.S. lumber lobby are the same arguments they made in prior rounds of litigation, all of which were rejected and overturned by independent NAFTA panels. This new trade action is driven by the same protectionist lumber lobby in the U.S. whose sole purpose is to create artificial supply constraints on lumber and drive prices up for their benefit, at the expense of American consumers.”

The U.S. Department of Commerce [DOC] also found “critical circumstances” which means duties will be retroactive 90 days for all companies other than the mandatory respondents. “The finding of critical circumstances in this case represents an unprecedented departure from the DOC’s typical approach and produces an entirely arbitrary result,” added Yurkovich.

“American demand for lumber exceeds what the U.S. lumber industry currently produces,” stated Yurkovich. “And, with housing and construction starts on the rise, demand for lumber is expected to continue to grow in the years ahead. The fact is, Canadian lumber imports don’t pose a threat to the U.S. lumber industry. There is enough North American demand to grow the U.S. industry while also allowing Canada to supply its U.S. customers as we have been doing for decades.”

Constraining Canadian lumber imports by applying punitive duties creates price volatility in the lumber market. These unwarranted duties are being reflected in higher lumber prices, driving up costs for American consumers, especially for families who want to build, buy or renovate a home in the U.S.  Concern about the impact of duties on American families and homebuilders is already being expressed by the U.S. National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Their analysis shows that even with a 15 percent tariff, there would be a loss of 4,600 American jobs and $265 million in lost wages and salaries in the U.S. residential construction and renovation industry alone.

“Canada and the U.S. enjoy one of the most productive trading relationships in the world, and the North American lumber market has always been served by both American and Canadian producers,” stated Yurkovich.  “BC Lumber Trade Council continues to believe that reaching a new agreement is in the best interests of producers and consumers on both sides of the border and we will continue to work closely with our provincial and federal governments to support efforts to reach a new agreement. However, with this U.S. trade action, we will also continue to vigorously defend our industry and our workers against these unwarranted duties and expect to be successful as we have been in the past.”

B.C. is the largest Canadian exporter of softwood lumber to the U.S. The B.C. forest industry is a major contributor to the provincial economy and supports approximately 145,000 direct and indirect jobs in the province. The BC Lumber Trade Council is the voice on trade matters for companies in British Columbia representing the majority of B.C. lumber production.

MEDIA AVAILABILITY AND TELECONFERENCE

BC Lumber Trade Council will hold an in-person media availability and teleconference.

DATE:                         Tuesday, April 25, 2017

TIME:                          10:30am (Pacific Standard Time)

LOCATION:                 Boardroom at the BC Council of Forest Industries

700 West Pender Street, Suite 1501

CALL-IN DETAILS:        1-888-504-7961

                                    Passcode: 7096350

Media Contact:

Mina Laudan

media@bclumbertrade.com

778.990.0701

@BCLumberTrade