Forest sector will fight for jobs, communities affected by U.S. duties: FPAC
Apr. 25, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Commerce has announced preliminary countervailing duties on Canadian softwood lumber. The duties, a response to a petition filed by the Committee Overseeing Action for Lumber International Trade Investigations or Negotiations (COALITION), are set at: West Fraser 24.12 per cent; Canfor 20.26 per cent; Tolko 19.5 per cent; Resolute 12.82 per cent; JD Irving 3.02 per cent; and 19.88 per cent for all other Canadian producers.
“These duties stand to hurt hard working men and women in our mill communities across Canada,” said Derek Nighbor, CEO of Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC). “The duties are unwarranted and without merit. We 100% support the federal government’s ‘Team Canada’ position and we must have a fair and equitable trading structure for both our industry and U.S. customers.”
These duties will have a negative impact not only here in Canada but also on U.S. consumers. Currently, American demand for lumber far exceeds what the American industry is able to produce. They need Canada’s softwood lumber.
Research from the National Association of Home Builders in the United States found that for every $1,000 increase in house prices (due to higher lumber costs), 150,000 families are priced out of purchasing a home. It was also found that at just a 15 per cent tariff, 4,600 American jobs and $265 million in wages and salaries would be lost.
“We will stand up for our industry’s workers and impacted mill communities in Canada and call on federal and provincial governments to work with us to ensure they can maintain their livelihoods during this difficult period,” said Nighbor.
Canada is the largest softwood lumber exporter to the United States. The Canadian forest products industry is vital to the national economy and the economies of many forest dependent communities across the country. The sector is one of Canada’s largest employers, providing 230,000 direct jobs and supporting 1 million families across the country.