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

RDOS supports agriculturalists to reduce burning

Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen encourages ag properties to grind rather than burn debris

LETTER: The minority will control the majority

Existing electoral system is stable, simple and successful.

LETTER: Thanks to all who ran in election

To those that were elected, I look forward to your collective stewardship

Kettle Valley Steam Railway holds train ride of terror

Summerland tourist train will have Halloween-themed events

Ballet Kelowna to kick off 16th season with pair of premiers

Fresh off performances in Beijing and Toronto, company will perform at KCT Nov. 16 and 17

B.C. sailor surprised by humpback whale playing under her boat

Jodi Klahm-Kozicki said the experience was ‘magical’ near Denman Island

VOTE: Nature in Focus reader’s choice photo contest

The Penticton Western News Reader’s Choice photo contest

Who is running in Summerland’s election?

Introducing you to the candidates asking for your vote on Oct. 20

WWE star Roman Reigns announces he has leukemia

Grappler formerly played in CFL

China opens mega-bridge linking Hong Kong to mainland

The $20 billion bridge took almost a decade to build while incurring major delays and cost overruns

Dangerous Cat 4 Hurricane Willa closing in on Mexico coast

Officials said 7,000 to 8,000 people were being evacuated from low-lying areas, mostly in Sinaloa state

Excessive speed named as cause of Taiwan train derailment

18 people were killed and at least 170 more were injured

VIDEO: Fire destroys historic Hitching Post restaurant in Hedley

Two people were injured as fire ripped through the Hedley restaurant around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday

Ovechkin has 4 points as Caps rough up Canucks 5-2

WATCH: Defending champs pick up impressive win in Vancouver

Most Read