New Brunswick Tribune

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Liberals launch a trade dispute with the U. S. over softwood lumber tariffs

Liberals launch a trade dispute with the U. S. over softwood lumber tariffs

Key takeaways:

  • Canada will challenge the legality of an American decision to raise tariffs on softwood lumber destined for markets south of the border, the federal Liberals have informed the White House.

The federal Liberals have noticed the White House that Canada will challenge the legality of an American decision to raise tariffs on softwood lumber destined for markets south of the border.

The government has filed a complaint under the North American Free Trade Agreement, which was recently renewed.

In a statement, Trade Minister Mary Ng said she expects Canada to succeed, as it has in previous challenges to what she calls unjustified duties on Canadian lumber.

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She went on to say that the additional costs will disproportionately affect American homebuyers and homeowners, describing the duties as a tax on American consumers that will raise construction and renovation costs.

The U.S. government nearly doubled tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber last month as part of a long-running dispute stemming from the U.S. industry’s belief that their northern counterparts receive government assistance.

Liberals kick-start trade pact challenge to U.S. duties slapped on softwood  lumber - Coast Reporter
Liberals kick-start trade pact challenge to U.S. duties slapped on softwood lumber. image from Coast Reporter

Opposition parties have chastised the Liberals for failing to prevent a new round of tariffs, despite expectations that trade disputes would fade away with Joe Biden in the White House rather than Donald Trump’s protectionist policies.

The government had hinted that it might impose countervailing measures or take a more formal stance in challenging the duties imposed under the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement.

Ng stated that the government is still interested in negotiating a trade agreement. In the absence of any movement from the Americans, the government has decided to pursue a trade challenge.

The president of the B.C. Lumber Trade Council, Susan Yurkovich, praised the government’s decision to challenge American tariffs, which she said continue to jeopardize economic recovery on both sides of the border.

Source: CTV News

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