OFIA: US proposed increase in softwood lumber tariffs a ‘blow’ to US consumers

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The Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA), Ian Dunn, President and CEO, issued the following statement in response to the US Department of Commerce’s ruling on the new countervailing and anti-dumping duty rates. These new rates will effectively double tariffs on Canadian lumber from 9% to 18.32% later this year, with rates at some Ontario and Quebec mills as high as 30%.

“The preliminary results of the US Department of Commerce’s administrative review will dramatically increase tariffs on Canadian lumber, adding to the already high cost of residential construction. This action will be another blow to the American consumer.

According to the National Home Builders Association (NHBA), the current price of lumber has added nearly $ 36,000 to the price of a new home. In response to this concern, on May 17, 96 bipartisan congressmen wrote to the Biden administration asking U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai to strike a balanced deal with Canada. The imposition of additional duties on Canadian softwood lumber will exacerbate the country’s housing affordability crisis, excluding millions of American households from the market.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has concluded that virtually all of the reasons historically cited by the United States for imposing countervailing duties on imports of softwood lumber from Canada are unfounded. The lumber industry in central Canada, which represents Quebec and Ontario, has always supported free and unimpeded access to the US market. Ontario’s forest industry is not subsidized and we will continue to defend the sector against these unfair trade actions.

The trade relationship between Canada and the United States is the largest in the world. However, this ongoing dispute is hurting that relationship to the detriment of many people, to the benefit of a few vested interests in the US Numbers business. We encourage the United States to honor its international obligations. The Biden administration should respect the rule of law and business frameworks to do what’s best for American households. “

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