The Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources, and the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, have issued the following statement following the imposition by the U.S. Department of Commerce of duties on imports of certain Canadian softwood lumber products into the United States:
“Canada's forest industry sustains hundreds of thousands of good, middle-class jobs in communities across our country. Many regions across Canada depend on its continued success. The forest industry is one of the most innovative sectors of our economy, developing new products and expanding its markets overseas while ensuring our environment is protected for future generations.
“The Government of Canada disagrees strongly with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s decision to impose an unfair and punitive duty. The accusations are baseless and unfounded.
“This decision will negatively affect workers on both sides of the border, and will ultimately increase costs for American families who want to build or renovate homes. The U.S. National Association of Home Builders has calculated that a $1,000 increase in the cost of a new house would put home ownership beyond the reach of more than 150,000 American families, and jeopardize thousands of jobs in the American home construction industry.
“The Government of Canada will vigorously defend the interests of the Canadian softwood lumber industry, including through litigation. In ruling after ruling since 1983, international tribunals have disproved the unfounded subsidy and injury allegations from the U.S. industry. We have prevailed in the past and we will do so again.
SUPPORT FOR WORKERS, COMMUNITIES, AND INDUSTRY
“The Government of Canada is taking immediate action to help affected companies, workers, and local communities. Now that the U.S. decision to impose preliminary countervailing duties has been confirmed, Minister Carr is re-convening the Federal-Provincial Task Force on Softwood Lumber this week to examine additional measures.
“The task force was formed to share information and analyze and assess the needs of forest workers and communities. The upcoming meeting will build on the progress we have made through this federal-provincial collaboration on the softwood lumber file.
Immediate action includes:
SEEKING A LONG-TERM AGREEMENT
“Canada will continue to press their American counterparts to rescind this unfair and unwarranted trade action. We are committed to working with the U.S. Administration to achieve a durable solution.
“Canada has put forward a number of reasonable proposals to the current U.S. administration that is responsive to views expressed by U.S. industry. These proposals ensure security of supply at fair prices to U.S. consumers and U.S. companies that rely on Canadian imports.
“We remain confident that a negotiated settlement is not only possible but in the best interests of both countries.”