Graydon Smith, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, and Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, issued a statement.
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“Ontario’s forest sector and its workers are vital to the prosperity of this province. To deliver on our plan to build Ontario, our government is standing up for families, businesses, and communities by speaking out against unfair practices targeting our forest sector.
"Ontario supports the U.S. Department of Commerce’s recent decision to lower the unfair duty rates on Canadian softwood lumber exports – however, the Ontario government maintains that all duty rates should be removed immediately.
"Ontario’s forest sector generated $18 billion in revenue from the sale of manufactured goods and services in 2020 and supported more than 148,000 direct and indirect jobs in 2021.
"At a time when we are taking action to provide cost-of-living relief, softwood lumber duties punish consumers and businesses on both sides of the border – and impose added hardship on the workers, families and communities that depend on Ontario’s forest sector.
"As this trade dispute continues, we will continue to seek fair treatment of our forest sector and fair outcomes for the public and industry alike.
"Together with provincial governments, the federal government and industry leaders across the country, Ontario stands united in support for the Canadian forest industry and free trade.”
in British Columbia Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests; Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation; and George Chow, Minister of State for Trade, have issued a joint statement in response to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s final determination in its third administrative review regarding countervailing and anti-dumping duties applied to Canada’s softwood lumber exports to the United States.
“We continue to be frustrated after today’s [August 4] announcement by the United States Department of Commerce that the U.S. will continue to apply unjustified duties on British Columbia and Canadian softwood lumber exports to the U.S.
“At a time when we need to work together in the face of rising costs related to global inflation, these tariffs are making housing and lumber more expensive on both sides of the border.
“British Columbia will always stand up for the 50,000 hard-working people in our forest industry against these unwarranted duties.
“Through the challenges presented to the forestry industry we have persevered and we will continue to do so. Our forests make British Columbia one of the best places to live. Forests nurture plants, wildlife and fish in watersheds and provide good-paying jobs. As we strive to make a more robust, sustainable forest economy, what we need most is partners across the border who work with us, not against us, in making a stronger forest sector for Canada and the United States.
“We will continue to work with the Government of Canada to advocate for a fair market for B.C. wood products, and vigorously defend against this unfair U.S. trade action on softwood lumber. This includes relentlessly pursuing litigation through all available avenues, including under the North American Free Trade Agreement, the Canada–United States–Mexico Agreement and the World Trade Organization.”
“Our government continues to stand with workers and their families while partnering with the federal government to resolve this dispute. We believe the best avenue is an agreement with the United States that benefits all parties.” ■