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Minister Ralston responds to NAFTA ruling on U.S. softwood lumber duties

October 10, 2023  By P&PC Staff

British Columbia’s Minister of Forests Bruce Ralston has released the following statement in response to the recent North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) panel ruling on Canada’s challenge of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s final dumping determination on softwood lumber:

“Workers in communities around the province rely on British Columbia’s forestry sector for jobs to support their families, livelihoods and communities. The federal and B.C. governments have been clear that the duties imposed by the United States on Canadian softwood lumber are unwarranted, punitive and are negatively impacting British Columbia’s forestry workers and communities.

Today, a NAFTA panel determined that the U.S. Department of Commerce erred in how it calculated important aspects of the anti-dumping duties applied to Canadian softwood lumber exports. It is encouraging to see the NAFTA panel agree with the extensive evidence to support Canada’s claims, and direct the U.S. Department of Commerce to revisit key elements of its decision. Alongside the Government of Canada, we remain steadfastly committed to the view that all U.S. softwood lumber duties are unfounded.


Time and again, neutral third-party reviews of the softwood lumber dispute have confirmed these duties are unjustified. While we continue to provide markets around the world with the highest-quality timber, U.S. duties are hurting people on both sides of our shared border, increasing material costs for Americans, and creating uncertainty for forestry professionals and communities here at home.

On a recent trip to Ottawa, Premier David Eby directly raised these issues with the American ambassador, advocating for a negotiated resolution that would benefit all parties, including the more than 50,000 forest industry workers throughout B.C. communities.”

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