N.B. Minister welcomes exemption

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FREDERICTON, N.B. — Friday’s softwood conclusions may have Canadian negotiators up in arms but the New Brunswick Natural Resources Minister is happy with the continued exemption for his region.

Minister Jeannot Volpe was disappointed Atlantic Canada was still subject to the 9.67 anti-dumping duty imposed by the U.S., however, the region fared better than the rest of the country’s lumber industry when it was exempted from the 19.34 per cent countervailing duty.

The U.S. maintains in the rest of Canada most of the wood is cut on Crown land amounting to an unfair government subsidy on the price.

“The Americans have once again recognized the Atlantic region is a little different because 75 per cent of our wood is coming from private land,” says Volpe.

Traditionally, Atlantic Canada was exempt from all duties but that collapsed with the collapse of the softwood lumber negotiations on Friday. The agreement fell apart when the U.S. lumber industry rejected key Canadian demands and ran out of time before a new round of tariffs came into effect.

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