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

B.C. mom, kids on bike turned away from Tim Hortons drive-thru

Car-free for years, Charity Millar ‘felt gross’ being denied service

The Salvation Army rings in Christmas Kettle Campaign in Victoria

Goal is to raise $250,000 this year for Vancouver Island residents needing support

Body found in Central Saanich waste recycling facility deemed non-suspicious

Coroners Service investigating circumstances of death

Saanich mom on a bike turned away in Tim Hortons drive-thru

Car-free for years, Charity Millar ‘felt gross’ being denied service

West Shore RCMP spend four hours searching for roving hikers

RCMP say stay put once you’ve called for help and listen to instructions

POLL: Do you plan on making any purchases on Black Friday?

We’ve all seen the images. Shoppers rioting outside of a store in… Continue reading

B.C. to advocate for frustrated, confused, unhappy cellphone users, says premier

Maple Ridge New Democrat Bob D’Eith to advocate for more affordable and transparent cellphone options

B.C. man who killed Belgian tourist near Boston Bar gets life in prison, no parole until 2042

Sean McKenzie pleaded guilty to second-degree murder of 28-year-old Amelie Christelle Sakkalis

‘Very disrespectful’: B.C. first responder irked by motorists recording collisions on cellphones

Central Cariboo Search and Rescue deputy chief challenges motorists to break the habit

Daily cannabis linked to reduction in opioid use: B.C. researchers

Researchers looked at a group of 1,152 people in Vancouver who reported substance use and chronic pain

Port Alberni rallies for mill workers

Fundraisers helping ease the sting of five months without work

Island student lobbies school board for dress code consistency

Jaylene Kuo contacted school trustees after seeing dress guidelines at brother’s school

Most Read