Vernon's Tolko Industries left 'disappointed' by US lumber duty ruling

Tolko: US duties disappoint

Vernon's Tolko Industries says it is disappointed in the doubling of U.S. duties on Canadian softwood lumber

The U.S. government said Wednesday that its final combined anti-dumping and countervailing duty rate for most Canadian producers will be 17.9 per cent.

That's slightly below the 18.32 per cent preliminary rate issued in May, but double the initial 8.99 per cent rate.

"Tolko is disappointed in the ruling, and we are proud that the Government of B.C. and the Government of Canada are continuing to fight for fair agreements on behalf of the forestry industry. We will continue to pay close attention to the process and lend our support wherever we can," the Vernon-headquartered company said in a statement to Castanet.

The Vernon company is one of the largest lumber companies in Canada and also has partnerships in U.S. sawmills.

The BC Lumber Trade Council also expressed its disappointment in the U.S. Department of Commerce announcement on countervailing and antidumping penalty rates.

"While not unexpected, we are disappointed with the doubling of the duties on softwood lumber for Canadian producers. As we have repeatedly stated, these unfair duties hurt not only B.C. businesses and workers, but also U.S. consumers looking to repair, remodel and build new homes. As U.S. producers remain unable to meet domestic demand, these duties are a threat to post-pandemic recovery on both sides of the border," said council president Susan Yurkovich.

"Our strong hope is that the U.S. industry will end this decades-long litigation and instead work with us to meet demand for the low-carbon wood products the world wants, including American families. Until then, we will continue to vigorously defend our industry against these meritless allegations."

This week's decision is the outcome of the DOC’s second administrative review of softwood lumber products from Canada.

B.C. is the largest Canadian exporter of softwood lumber to the U.S.

International Trade Minister Mary Ng called the duties "unwarranted" and said the Canadian government will continue to defend the softwood lumber industry including through litigation under Chapter 10 of the CUSMA trade deal with Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, NAFTA's Chapter 19 and at the World Trade Organization.

"At every step of the way, rulings have found Canada to be a fair trading partner," she said.

– with files from The Canadian Press

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