OTTAWA, Ont. — The federal government has announced a $95 million package to help the Canadian lumber industry get back on its feet in the face of impending U.S. duties of 27 per cent.
The program is aimed at helping lumber companies diversify, while funding a public awareness campaign in the U.S. about the harmful effects of the softwood duties.
The exact details are expected to be unveiled in mid-May, following a U.S. announcement on its reasoning behind the latest round of duties. There are concerns that this latest package will trigger further trade action by the U.S., who have argued vigorously that Canadian lumber companies receive unfair government subsidies.
Although the details of the plan have yet to be confirmed, it is expected the package includes $20 million for advocacy work in the U.S. promoting Canada’s position on the duties, $30 million to help expand the Canadian market to areas such as China and South Korea, and $45 million on research and development to help lumber companies find new uses for their products.
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