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U.S. move to double tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber is ‘egregious,’ says BC Lumber Trade Council

The BC Lumber Trade Council says a move by the United States to double tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber is ``particularly egregious'' given current record high lumber prices.

The president of the BC Lumber Trade Council says a move by the United States to double tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber is “particularly egregious” given current record high lumber prices.

Susan Yurkovich says the dramatic increase in the “all others” preliminary countervailing and anti-dumping rate to 18.32 per cent from 8.99 per cent will hurt American consumers who are faced with a market where prices are at record heights because supply can’t keep up with demand.

Click to play video: 'Lumber demand and pricing' Lumber demand and pricing
Lumber demand and pricing – Apr 28, 2021

She called on the U.S. industry to end its decades-long campaign alleging Canadian lumber is unfairly subsidized and instead work with Canada to meet demand for “low-carbon wood products” the world wants.

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Read more: Canada to challenge U.S. softwood lumber export duties through World Trade Organization

Former president Donald Trump’s administration imposed a 20 per cent tariff on Canadian softwood in 2018, before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but lowered it to about nine per cent late last year after a decision favouring Canada by the World Trade Organization.

Click to play video: 'Lumber industry seeing drastic price increase and shortages' Lumber industry seeing drastic price increase and shortages
Lumber industry seeing drastic price increase and shortages – Apr 10, 2021

In a separate news release, Jason Brochu, U.S. Lumber Coalition co-chair, applauded the Commerce Department’s commitment to enforce trade laws against “subsidized and unfairly traded” Canadian lumber imports.

The coalition says the U.S. industry remains open to a new U.S.-Canada softwood lumber trade agreement “if and when” Canada demonstrates it is serious about negotiations.

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