Yesterday, as part of the Government of Canada’s ongoing engagement with the forestry sector, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, met with softwood lumber industry leaders to discuss trade issues relating to softwood lumber. Minister Ng outlined the Government of Canada’s views and the recent efforts it has made to ensure Canada’s forestry sector is well positioned for success.
Minister Ng reaffirmed that ending U.S. duties on Canadian softwood lumber is a top priority for the Government of Canada. U.S. duties on softwood lumber are unfair. International panels have consistently found Canada to be a fair trading partner and that these duties are inconsistent with U.S. international trade obligations.
The Minister highlighted the numerous steps the Government of Canada has taken over the past several months to defend the forestry sector, including challenging the United States’ anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders under Chapter 10 of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement.
The Minister and the meeting participants had productive discussions on how to best advance Canadian interests on this important file. She reiterated Canada’s commitment to maintaining an open dialogue and finding solutions that benefit the forestry industry, its workers, and communities.
The Minister also provided an update on her advocacy efforts, including her recent visit to Washington, D.C., where she met with Katherine Tai, United States Trade Representative, and members of both parties in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Minister Ng also met with stakeholders in the U.S. forestry industry, including the National Association of Home Builders, to whom she reiterated that Canada is ready and willing to discuss ways to reach a mutually acceptable resolution on this matter, which is vital to both countries.