STATEMENT: Conservatives call for emergency Trade Committee meeting as US prepares to double softwood lumber duties

Ottawa, ON – Tracy Gray, Conservative Shadow Minister for Export Promotion and International Trade, and Luc Berthold, Conservative Shadow Minister for the Treasury Board, issued the following statement regarding news that the United States Department of Commerce intends to double duties on imports of Canadian softwood lumber from 8.99 per cent to 18.32 per cent:

“Canada has not had a softwood lumber agreement with the United States since the fall of 2015, and the Liberal government failed to negotiate softwood lumber into the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA). We have yet to see any meaningful action on this issue by the Liberals. In fact, we are now seeing a step backwards with the United States Department of Commerce’s announcement of increased duties on softwood lumber imports from Canada.

“These duties come in spite of the Minister of International Trade’s recent meetings with the United States Trade Representative. While Minister Ng said she “reiterated that it was in the best interest of both countries to reach an agreement on softwood lumber,” her US counterpart is quoted as saying the Liberal government has “not expressed interest in engaging” on negotiations for a new agreement on lumber.

“Canada’s Conservatives are calling on the government to immediately act to ensure that Canada’s softwood lumber industry, and the hundreds of thousands of workers and families which rely on these jobs, are not impacted by these devastating tariffs. That is why Conservative Members of the International Trade Committee are calling for an emergency meeting to take action on this vital issue.”