The U.S. Department of Commerce has recently announced its final determination of duties of 20.83 per cent to be applied to the majority of Canadian softwood lumber shipments entering the U.S.
The final countervailing duty rate is 14.25 per cent (a decrease from the preliminary rate 19.88 per cent) and the final anti-dumping duty rate is 6.58 per cent (a decrease from the preliminary rate 6.87 per cent).
Susan Yurkovich, president of the BC Lumber Trade Council, said this trade action ultimately punishes American consumers.
“This trade action is being driven by the protectionist United States lumber lobby, whose sole purpose is to constrain imports of high-quality Canadian lumber and to drive up lumber prices for their own benefit,” she said. “This trade action ultimately punishes American consumers who are now paying higher prices for Canadian lumber when they buy, build or renovate their homes.”
The U.S. Department of Commerce argues that the countervailing duty is required to offset unfair subsidies that Canadian and provincial governments allegedly provide to lumber companies, while the anti-dumping duty is required to offset unfair selling practices by Canadian lumber companies that are allegedly selling lumber into the U.S. at a price below their costs or sales value in Canada.
British Columbia disagrees with this view. Premier John Horgan has re-affirmed his commitment to stand up for workers and communities.