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

Council concerned about blocking cannabis retail from Main Street

Cannabis policy expected to be ready for Penticton city council on Dec. 4

Penticton neighbourhood is fed up and wants urban deer solution

Urban deer discussion back on city council agenda

Open houses regarding transit between Penticton and Kelowna

The meetings will be held in Summerland, Princeton, Penticton, Peachland and Osoyoos on Dec. 4 and 5

Third fatality in 24 hours on South Okanagan roads

A vehicle incident closed Highway 3 for five hours Monday night

CONTEST: New year, new you

KimXO has partnered with Black Press Media and Third Space for a brand new contest

Okanagan dog back in owner’s arms after 18 days on the run after car accident

Penny the senior boxer is back home and doing well after missing for 18 days following car accident

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

B.C. lumber mills struggle with shortage of logs, price slump

Signs of recovery after U.S. market swings, industry executive says

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

Canucks’ 50/50 jackpot expected to surpass $1 million

The guaranteed prize for one lucky winner will be $500,000 minimum when Vancouver hosts LA Nov 27

Most Read