Doug Donaldson is B.C.’s Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. Barry Gerding/Capital News

No negotiations on U.S. lumber duties

B.C. Forests minister says government resigned to winning legal process

There are no solutions on the immediate horizon to resolve the softwood lumber impasse between the U.S. and Canada, says B.C. Forests Minister Doug Donaldson.

Donaldson said our position remains advocating for a free market exchange of lumber, but negotiations have stopped due to the influence of a powerful lobby group of U.S. lumber producers.

“They are not interested in negotiating with us so we are now resorting to pursue our case through the legal system as we have done in the past and won,” Donaldson said.

He said anti-dumping and countervailing duties, ranging from three to 24 per cent, are now being collected from B.C. lumber exports south of the border and held in abeyance pending the outcome of that legal appeal mechanism.

Recent: Canada’s softwood lumber exports to U.S. on decline

The American lumber produces argue that Canadian lumber mills are subsidized by government and benefit from timber pricing policies and other subsidies which harm U.S. manufacturers and workers.

Countervailing duties are a mechanism to level the playing field when a country believes that another country’s product is unfairly subsidized.

Anti-dumping duties are assessed directly against Canadian manufacturers based on relative detriment to the U.S. industry. For the Okanagan-based Tolko operations, those duties were set at 19.5 per cent

“We believe those duties are unfair, unjust and unwarranted. Lumber prices are an all-time high right now so that helps off-set the impact of those duties, but that isn’t going to last forever so we are concerned about that,” Donaldson said.

Donaldson also noted that when the last softwood dispute was resolve in 2006, the U.S. lobby interests then still pocketed millions of dollars in the settlement, a potential incentive for dragging Canada through a process it has already lost in the past, most recently dating back to 2006.

“I hope and think that when the U.S. consumer start to see the sticker shock on housing costs due to high lumber costs, they will start to apply pressure on their politicians to overturn this intense lobby effort against us.”

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


@BarryGerding
barry.gerding@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Talking music at Penticton’s Dream Café

Listen Up! to Holger Petersen

TRUE explores Penticton tourism offerings

Event showcases local experiences for tourism week

A good day for a grind

Summerland’s Giant’s Head Grind now in fifth year

Olympic gold medallist returns to Summerland

Justin Kripps brought his gold medal to Summerland Secondary Thursday

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup as Grand Forks rebuilds

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

UBC professor claims victory at B.C. car race

A physics engineering professor had the fastest time during Kelowna hill climb race

MP Karina Gould back to Hill with baby Oliver for electoral reform bill

Gould brought Oliver to work with her as she resumed duties as democratic institutions minister

VIDEO: Footage of 2 shrieking lynx posted by Canadians goes viral

The videos — one shot by a man and his girlfriend — show two lynx sitting face-to-face, shrieking

Teen must repay $37M for starting Oregon wildfire

A teenager who started a major wildfire in Oregon has been ordered to pay restitution

Major traffic delays in West Kelowna

For those driving into Kelowna on Highway 97 expect significant delays

Canada’s G7 goal on development: luring private capital to poor nations

G7 finance and international development ministers convene in British Columbia next week

Congressional leaders to review information on Russia probe

Trump said he will “demand” that the Justice Department open an investigation into whether the FBI infiltrated his presidential campaign

Canadians stranded in Cuba after plane crash returning home

Montreal-based travel agency says hundreds of Canadians who were stuck in Cuba since a plane crash last week are returning home

Most Read