Aboriginal Relations Minister John Rustad has added responsibility for forests to his duties. (Black Press files)

U.S. adds another border tax to B.C. lumber

Minister says work continues through B.C. instability

The B.C. government’s minority turmoil won’t affect the effort to support the province’s forest industry and negotiate a new softwood lumber agreement, Forests Minister John Rustad says.

In his first days since adding responsibility for forests to his aboriginal relations portfolio, Rustad was responding to the U.S. Commerce Department’s announcement Monday that anti-dumping duties are being imposed on top of countervailing duties imposed earlier.

The anti-dumping duty adds almost seven per cent more to the nearly 20 per cent duty imposed on most sources of Canadian lumber exports to the U.S. For companies specifically reviewed by U.S. trade officials, the anti-dumping rate is 7.72 per cent on Canfor, 7.53 per cent on Tolko, 6.76 per cent on West Fraser, 4.59 per cent on Quebec-based Resolute and 6.87 for all others.

Rustad was named forests minister last week as long-serving minister Steve Thomson was elected speaker in a job that may last only a week, with a confidence vote in the B.C. Liberal government expected on Thursday.

Rustad said the government is prepared to buy lumber for future government projects while it argues its case with the U.S. at the negotiating table or in the courts, but that won’t happen immediately. Premier Christy Clark proposed the purchase option during the recent election campaign.

Susan Yurkovich, president of the B.C. Lumber Trade Council, said the latest duty continues efforts of the U.S. lumber industry to restrict imports and drive up the price of their products.

“The ongoing allegations levelled by the U.S. industry are without merit,” Yurkovich said. “This was proven in the last round of litigation and we fully expect it will be again.”

U.S. Lumber Coalition spokesman Zoltan van Heyningen said the anti-dumping decision is preliminary and additional investigation will be carried out by the U.S. Commerce Department.

“For years, Canada has unfairly distorted the softwood lumber market with billions of dollars in support of their producers,” van Heyningen said.

Canada’s Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr recently announced a support package for forest companies facing the fifth round of U.S. duties, including loans and loan guarantees to help companies keep running. Loans would be at market interest rates and do not constitute a subsidy, he said.

Just Posted

Local area D-Day survivor is 100 yrs on Feb. 5

Stewart Ray is “like a cat with 9 lives, except he’s on at least his 3rd set of 9 lives”

WWII Veteran’s 70th year residing in Fort St. James

J.K. Johnson moved here from Calgary in 1947 and never looked back

“Persian Plenty” quilt fit for a queen

Fort St. James quilter Mona French is almost finished building her magnificent… Continue reading

Community Foundation showcases “777 Challenge” trophy

The 777 Challenge is one way to donate to the Fort St.… Continue reading

100,000 bulbs shine bright for Lights of Hope

St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver launched its annual campaign to raise funds for equipment, research

‘I will now live in consistent fear’: Allan Schoenborn granted escorted leaves

The Merritt man was deemed not criminally responsible in the killing of his three children in 2008

Hammy the deer dodges conservation officers in Prince Rupert

The famous Prince Rupert hammock deer maintains his purple threads

‘No shirt, no service, no Canada’

Shirtless Tacoma man arrested after Canadian border officials say they found meth in rental vehicle

Nasty note on B.C. windshield sparks online outrage

Vernon’s Bailey McDonald is using a painful experience to start conversation about invisible illness

Federal funding to combat guns, gangs and opioid crisis

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said illicit drugs are often main cause of guns, gangs violence

Riverview youth mental health centre proceeds

Replacement for Maples Treatment Centre first announced in March

Dead boy’s father posts Facebook response after Appeal Court upholds conviction

David, Collet Stephan were found guilty in their son Ezekiel’s 2012 death from bacterial meningitis

Trudeau mania, Scheer enthusiasm in B.C. this week

Prime minister, Conservative leader drop in on Surrey, White Rock

Most Read