The majority of Canadian softwood lumber companies could be paying a lot less in duties.
According to the US Department of Commerce (DOC), it plans to reduce the tariffs from nearly 18% to 11.64%.
The lone exception would be West Fraser where it would go from 11.14 to 13.09%.
Vista Radio reached out to West Fraser for an interview but declined to comment
BC Council of Forest Industries President and CEO Susan Yurkovich stated the tariffs should be scrapped altogether.
“What we really should have is no duties on softwood lumber going into the US and that’s because they need our lumber and these duties make it more expensive for US consumers to buy the product.”
“You have to understand we are in administrative review four already so these duty rates can go up again as well. There are no guarantees and what really should be happening is working towards a durable solution.”
Yurkovich was even more critical of the American government’s approach as it is having a negative impact on consumers and would-be-home-owners.
“When you think about affordability challenges in the US and you look at what’s coming out of the National Association of Homebuilders talking about the impacts on consumers in the US of these duties. It’s really time to resolve this once and for all and we want people to use wood in their homes and buildings and in all kinds of products because it’s a good choice for the plant and these taxes make it really difficult to do the right thing.”
A final decision by the Department of Commerce is expected to be made in November.
Last fall, the DOC doubled tariff rates to 17.99% drawing the ire of the federal and provincial governments.
In April of 2021, the US National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) called on President Joe Biden and his government to reach a new long-term trade contract on Canadian softwood lumber.
A letter was penned to United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai stating lumber prices, which at that time tripled when compared to the same month in 2020.
B.C. is the largest Canadian exporter of softwood lumber to the U.S.
The province’s forest industry supports approximately 100,000 direct and indirect jobs.