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

Kelowna cyclist sent to hospital after colliding with truck

A woman was sent to the hospital Wednesday morning

Line-up set for 2019 Canadian Culinary Championships in Kelowna set

Eleven chefs from across the country have been selected for championships Feb. 1 and 2.

Rutland’s Christmas Light Up to bring holiday magic once again

The annual Rutland Light Up takes place Dec. 9

A Charlie Brown Christmas comes to Kelowna for a Holiday treat

The Peanuts classic comes to life again Dec. 6 to 16

Lake Country will get a new fire hall

Council allowed the district to borrow up to $6.6 million for the hall

VIDEO: E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce sickens 18 people in Ontario, Quebec

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it’s working with U.S. authorities to determine the source of the romaine lettuce those who got ill were exposed to.

Lower Mainland suspect identified in fatal northern B.C. hit and run

Suspect and seven other individuals believed involved located on Haida Gwaii

‘Bait and switch’ warning ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Competition Bureau of Canada is warning shoppers of illegal sale tactics

Legal battle ahead for suspended B.C. legislature executives

Public removal ‘very unfair,’ says veteran clerk Craig James

B.C. sees biggest spike in homicides across Canada, at 34%

Much of the killing was attributed to gang violence, according to Statistics Canada

Fundraiser established for the family of South Okanagan crash victim

A GoFundMe account has been established for the Penticton driver who died in an accident

Sea lion tangled in rope on Vancouver Island

Marine debris is a ‘significant problem’ for marine wildlife

Postal strike affects charities at critical fundraising time

Canadian fundraising professionals and charities join call for fast resolution

DeHart: New Kelowna restaurant concept features spuds with unique toppings

Kelowna entrepreneur picks up on idea started in U.S. and Australia

Most Read