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