Canada announces challenge to US lumber tariffs
December 22, 2021 10:20 AM
Ottawa said Tuesday it will challenge US anti-dumping and countervailing duties on Canadian softwood lumber, saying they harm both Canadian producers and US consumers.
The challenge will be filed under Chapter 10 of the trilateral free trade agreement with the United States and Mexico, or USMCA, the Canadian government said in a statement.
"Rulings on this issue have consistently found Canada to be a fair trading partner, and Canada is confident that rulings will continue to find Canada to be one," Trade Minister Mary Ng said.
"These unjustified duties not only harm Canadian communities, businesses, and workers, but they are also a tax on US consumers, raising the costs of housing, renovations, and rentals," she said.
The lumber dispute has plagued relations between Washington and Ottawa for 35 years.
US producers accuse their Canadian counterparts of selling wood below the market price to promote exports, which Ottawa denies.
Canada is the world's largest exporter of softwood lumber while the United States is the largest market.
Last month, as lumber prices surged, the United States doubled tariffs on Canadian lumber to 17.9 percent.
Ng said Ottawa remains "extremely disappointed" with the US tariff move and renewed calls for Washington "to stop imposing unwarranted duties on Canadian softwood lumber products."
Canadian forestry associations applauded Ottawa's challenge of the tariffs.
The British Columbia Lumber Trade Council's president Susan Yurkovich also urged the United States to "end this decades-long dispute."
The Council of the Quebec Forest Industry's Jean-François Samray, meanwhile, told AFP the dispute must be settled in order "to have a lasting economic recovery."