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

PHOTO GALLERY: Malicous Monster Truck Tour

The Malicious Monster Truck Tour sold out to crowds of 2,500 people… Continue reading

CMTN First Nations Fine Arts program offers new advanced diploma

The 10-month program will focus on enhancing jewellery, sculpture and marketing skills

Terrace spawns new salmon art festival

This week’s featured artist: Casey Braam

Back in buisness: former Sears franchisees go it alone

Boota and Diljit Uppal’s new store opens in same location

Terrace minor softball wins big at provincials

U14 team won gold, U16 team nabbed silver in nail-biter finish, U12 placed fourth

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Hub for mental health and addictions treatment opens at B.C. hospital

St. Paul’s Hospital HUB is an acute medical unit that includes 10 patient beds

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Union construction cost competitive, B.C. Building Trades say

Non-union firms can bid on infrastructure, but employees have to join international unions

Trudeau to shuffle cabinet ahead of Liberals’ team for 2019

Trudeau could lighten the work loads of cabinet ministers who currently oversee more than one portfolio

Car calls 911 on possible impaired B.C. driver

A luxury car automatically calls Princeton police to scene of crash involving alcohol

BC Games marks 40 years in 2018

Cowichan Games a milestone for BC Games Society

VIDEO: Life’s a beach at this B.C. sand sculpting contest

More than $50,000 was up for grabs at the annual contest held in Parksville

Most Read