Dimension lumber is the backbone of B.C.’s forest industry. (Black Press Media)

B.C. forest industry celebrates lumber trade ruling against U.S.

World Trade Organization rejects softwood subsidy claim

The World Trade Organization has upheld Canada’s challenge to the latest round of countervailing duties on softwood lumber imports to the U.S., in what the B.C. industry organization calls a “scathing indictment” of U.S. government trade actions.

B.C. Premier John Horgan said while the decision is welcome, the decades-long dispute isn’t going away.

“While this decision is a victory for B.C.’s lumber producers, immediate relief is unlikely,” Horgan said in a statement Aug. 24. “Our work continues until we bring an end to the unfair U.S. duties on Canadian softwood exports.”

The WTO ruling identifies 40 instances where the U.S. Department of Commerce finding of subsidy was not supported by the evidence, the B.C. Lumber Trade Council said Aug. 24. Among them, the WTO trade panel upheld Canada’s arguments on log export regulation, supplying electricity to mills and the U.S. government’s use of Washington log prices to impose penalties for B.C. stumpage on Crown timber.

“For more than three years, our industry has paid billions of dollars in countervailing duties that today’s decision confirmed should never have been paid in the first place,” said Susan Yurkovich, president of the trade council.

“This report is a scathing indictment of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s subsidy findings and the biased process it followed in reaching them. Unfortunately this is just the latest chapter in the ongoing attack on the Canadian lumber industry. Each of the prior two lumber disputes ended with neutral, international tribunals issuing rulings that forced Commerce to rescind their flawed and unsupported findings for similar reasons. Today’s decision is an important step towards what we expect will be the same result.”

RELATED: NAFTA panel upholds U.S. softwood ‘injury’ claim


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureforestry

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Castlegar emergency service group looking for volunteers

Volunteers work with both the provincial emergency service program and the Red Cross.

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Two new COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health

The total number of Interior Health cases since the beginning of the pandemic is now at 522

Cobra Stairs in Castlegar reopen to public

A tree fell on the roof of the stairs earlier this month

West Kootenay mother searching for son missing since Sept. 1

Police are investigating the disappearance of Cory Westcott

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

2 British Columbians arrested, 3 at large in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Most Read