Champagne Slams US for Siding With Canada’s Softwood Lumber Industry

Canada was disappointed by the final United States’ tariff on softwood lumber, said Canada’s International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne.

“What we ask is why they have taken this action, a trade action taken for the second time in six years and that’s what we’re asking for,” Champagne said on “Fox News Sunday.”

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced Friday that Canada will be subject to a 219 percent tariff on its lumber exports from January 1, 2019, after the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals allowed a 2016 case against Canada’s softwood lumber industry to proceed.

Chapelle said Canada disagrees with the court’s decision.

“It would be good if the U.S. government would focus on more things they agree with than focus on softwood lumber. We are very disappointed,” Champagne said.

Since 2012, Canadian producers have been slapped with a countervailing duty averaging 24 percent, and a quantitative duty averaging 12 percent. But according to the department, this year Canadian producers are being slapped with an additional supplemental lumber tariff of only 2.5 percent, but due to the court’s decision that added percentage is expected to rise to 8.7 percent.

The U.S. has been fighting the issue since 1994 when Canada imposed subsidies for their softwood lumber producers. However, Canadian producers argue that they are no longer on subsidies.

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