Logs await milling at a sawmill in Prince George. (Canfor)

B.C. lumber industry applauds Canadian trade action

Canada accuses U.S. of violating international law in many countries

B.C.’s forest products industry is applauding an aggressive legal action filed by the Canadian government Wednesday, a broad complaint against U.S. global trade practices made to the World Trade Organization.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has escalated its trade dispute with Canada, placing duties of up to nine per cent on Canadian paper products, on top of a 20-per-cent tariff on softwood lumber exports applied last spring. The targeted actions come as the U.S. demands sweeping reforms to the North American Free Trade Agreement, covering vehicle manufacturing and other trade.

“B.C.’s lumber producers welcome the government of Canada’s efforts to vigorously defend Canada’s interests in trade relations with the U.S.,” said Susan Yurkovich, president of the B.C. Lumber Trade Council.

“For decades, the Canadian lumber industry has been subject to unfair and unwarranted duties imposed by the U.S. Department of Commerce, and has filed appeals under NAFTA and WTO agreements. We know that when unbiased entities review these unfair trade practices, they have found in Canada’s favour.”

The 32-page complaint to the WTO includes more than 100 examples of U.S. duties on foreign countries, including pipe from China, pasta from Italy and steel products from Korea, India and Brazil and France as well as lumber from Canada.

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