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Low Duty Rate of Softwood Lumber isn’t enough

Although the government of Ontario supports the reduction of duty rate on softwood lumber exports, however, there should be free trade instead.
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TORONTO — It would seem that the softwood lumber trade dispute between Canada and the United States has been going on forever.

The trade dispute has been going on since 1982 when the U.S. lumber industry petitioned the U.S. Department of Commerce to impose a duty on the product.

Since then, it has been constant back and forth between governments to find a fair solution to the trade.

In a joint statement by Graydon Smith, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, and Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, they said “Ontario’s Forest sector and its workers are vital to the prosperity of this province. To deliver on our plan to build Ontario, our government is standing up for families, businesses, and communities by speaking out against unfair practices targeting our forest sector.”

Although both ministers claim that they support the U.S. Department of Commerce’s decision to lower the duty rate on Canadian softwood lumber, they still maintain that there be no duty rates at all.

“The Ontario government maintains that all duty rates should be removed immediately,” the state continues.

Ontario’s forest sector generated $18 billion in revenue for the province which supported more than 148,000 direct and indirect jobs in 2021.

“At a time when we are taking action to provide cost-of-living relief, softwood lumber duties punish consumers and businesses on both sides of the border – and impose added hardship on the workers, families and communities that depend on Ontario’s Forest sector,” the Ministers claim.  

The trade dispute will continue as long as the unfair duty on the export of softwood lumber is imposed.

“Together with provincial governments, the federal government and industry leaders across the country, Ontario stands united in support for the Canadian forest industry and free trade,” the Minister said in their final remarks.

Clint Fleury

About the Author: Clint Fleury

Clint Fleury is a web reporter covering Northwestern Ontario and the Superior North regions.
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