• Bruce County Forest Products Ltd.

Industry groups support government’s WTO case for lumber

January 11, 2018

By: The Working Forest Staff

The government of Canada has made a broad-ranging complaint to the World Trade Organization regarding the United States’ trade practices, including its action in the softwood lumber dispute. Several industry groups have stated their support of the legal challenge against Canada’s trading partner.

Unifor’s national president, Jerry Dias, commented: “The U.S. is trying to bully us, and we’re not going to stand for it. Canada’s forestry sector is following the rules and we’re confident that we will prevail—again—in international tribunals.”

The Trump administration has imposed duties on softwood lumber and, just days ago, on newsprint.

“These rates tabled last night by the U.S. on uncoated groundwood paper represent the third action that stands to hurt hard working men and women in our mill communities across Canada,” says Derek Nighbor, CEO, Forest Products Association of Canada. “These duties are unwarranted and without merit and we 100% support the federal government’s “WTO filing” position. Canada and the U.S. share a longstanding and important relationship, but in the face of these unfounded trade actions it’s important that our government defends Canada’s interests.”

According to FPAC, the Government of Canada complaint said U.S. procedures broke the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Anti-Dumping Agreement, the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, and the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes.

Susan Yurkovich, president of the BC Lumber Trade Council, also spoke in support of the federal government’s legal action filed with the WTO.

 “B.C. lumber producers welcome the Government of Canada’s efforts to vigorously defend Canada’s interests in trade relations with the U.S.  For decades, the Canadian lumber industry has been subject to unfair and unwarranted duties imposed by the U.S. Department of Commerce, and has filed appeals under the NAFTA and WTO agreements. We know that when unbiased entities review these unfair trade practices, they have found in Canada’s favour.”

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