Aboriginal Relations Minister John Rustad has added responsibility for forests to his duties. (Black Press files)

U.S. adds another border tax to B.C. lumber

Minister says work continues through B.C. instability

The B.C. government’s minority turmoil won’t affect the effort to support the province’s forest industry and negotiate a new softwood lumber agreement, Forests Minister John Rustad says.

In his first days since adding responsibility for forests to his aboriginal relations portfolio, Rustad was responding to the U.S. Commerce Department’s announcement Monday that anti-dumping duties are being imposed on top of countervailing duties imposed earlier.

The anti-dumping duty adds almost seven per cent more to the nearly 20 per cent duty imposed on most sources of Canadian lumber exports to the U.S. For companies specifically reviewed by U.S. trade officials, the anti-dumping rate is 7.72 per cent on Canfor, 7.53 per cent on Tolko, 6.76 per cent on West Fraser, 4.59 per cent on Quebec-based Resolute and 6.87 for all others.

Rustad was named forests minister last week as long-serving minister Steve Thomson was elected speaker in a job that may last only a week, with a confidence vote in the B.C. Liberal government expected on Thursday.

Rustad said the government is prepared to buy lumber for future government projects while it argues its case with the U.S. at the negotiating table or in the courts, but that won’t happen immediately. Premier Christy Clark proposed the purchase option during the recent election campaign.

Susan Yurkovich, president of the B.C. Lumber Trade Council, said the latest duty continues efforts of the U.S. lumber industry to restrict imports and drive up the price of their products.

“The ongoing allegations levelled by the U.S. industry are without merit,” Yurkovich said. “This was proven in the last round of litigation and we fully expect it will be again.”

U.S. Lumber Coalition spokesman Zoltan van Heyningen said the anti-dumping decision is preliminary and additional investigation will be carried out by the U.S. Commerce Department.

“For years, Canada has unfairly distorted the softwood lumber market with billions of dollars in support of their producers,” van Heyningen said.

Canada’s Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr recently announced a support package for forest companies facing the fifth round of U.S. duties, including loans and loan guarantees to help companies keep running. Loans would be at market interest rates and do not constitute a subsidy, he said.

Just Posted

“Huge disappointment” as BCVT learns Northern Sea Wolf will not sail this summer

The Nimpkish is arrriving near-empty as frustrated travelers can’t get to Bella Bella for transfer

Campfire ban coming into effect across West Coast

The Coastal Fire Centre says bans will begin on Wednesday

Bella Coola enjoys 33rd Annual Valley Ridge Riders Rodeo

Sunny skies on Monday added a welcome touch to an otherwise damp weekend

First Nation pipeline protesters erect ‘tiny homes’ in B.C. Park

Kanahus Manuel and Tiny House Warriors say more homes being constructed in park

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

BC Games: Day 1 comes to an end

Medals have already been handed out following one day of competition in the 2018 BC Summer Games

BC Wildfire update on Okanagan blazes

Watch the media briefing on the current fire situation in the Okanagan.

UPDATED: Evacuation alert issued due to Dog Creek Trail Wildfire

UPDATED: The Dog Creek wildfire has grown substantially over the past two… Continue reading

RCMP help to save goats from wildfire

The fast-approaching wildfire, sparked Thursday, forced the evacuation of five homes

VIDEO: Near drowning captured on popular B.C. river

Search and Rescue manager says the popular pastime of floating in the summer is inherently dangerous

Crosswalk vandalism leaves black mark for Cowichan as B.C. Games begin

Rainbow crosswalk defaced just days after being painted

Photo gallery: BC Games Day 1

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

UPDATED: Anti-pipeline campers digging in as eviction deadline expires

The City of Burnaby had ordered the Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters out for violating bylaws

Trump was taped talking of paying Playboy model: AP source

Source says former personal lawyer Michael Cohen secretly recorded discussion prior to 2016 election

Most Read