Thu, 09 Feb 2023

OTTAWA, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Canadian federal government said on Tuesday that it is disappointed at U.S. duties on softwood lumber and will defend Canadian interests through all available avenues.

Canada will continue to work closely with provinces, territories and industry to defend Canadian interests through all available avenues, including litigation under the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement and at the World Trade Organization (WTO), said Mary Ng, the Canadian minister of international trade, in a statement.

"The U.S. Department of Commerce has indicated its intention to maintain its unjustified duties on imports of Canadian softwood lumber. This is a disappointing decision to many on both sides of our shared border," the minister said, responding to the fourth administrative reviews by the United States of its anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders on certain softwood lumber products from Canada.

"Canada has long been an essential supplier to the U.S. market, and these unjustified duties continue to act as a tax on American consumers, increasing building costs at a time of surging inflation," Ng said. "U.S. duties on Canadian softwood hurt forest sector businesses, workers and communities across Canada, and have been ruled illegal by the WTO."

Canada remains ready and willing to find solutions that allow for a return to predictable cross-border trade in softwood lumber, the minister said.

The U.S. Department of Commerce is expected to issue final results in summer 2023. On Aug. 4, 2022, the department issued the results of the third administrative reviews of its anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders with a rate of 8.59 percent.

Softwood lumber industry is a key driver of economic activity across Canada and an essential component of the country's forestry sector, which contributed more than 34.8 billion Canadian dollars (28 billion U.S. dollars) to its gross domestic product in 2021 and employs some 205,000 workers.

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