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Softwood lumber tariff expires

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- The U.S.-imposed 19.3 per cent export duty on Canadian softwood has expired, giving lumber compa...


VANCOUVER, B.C. — The U.S.-imposed 19.3 per cent export duty on Canadian softwood has expired, giving lumber companies a bit of breathing room before it is reviewed by the U.S. Commerce Department.

The final determination on the duty will take place in mid-May, giving Canadian officials some more time to plead their case.

But the most recent duty, a 12.6 per cent anti-dumping penalty will remain in effect.

Brian Zak of the Coast Forest and Lumber Association, says the expiration of the duty won’t reverse the layoffs in the forestry industry. Lumber prices have dropped dramatically, he points out, and coupled with the anti-dumping duty it’s still difficult to send wood south of the border.

Zak estimates the 19.3 per cent tariff cost Canadian lumber producers $125 million over the four months it was in place. There have been more than 11,000 layoffs in B.C. alone because of the tariff.


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