Bridgewater, NS, Canada / CKBW — Canadian softwood lumber producers are seeing higher duties on their exports to the United States.

It comes after the U.S. Commerce Department announced tariffs for most producers would increase to 17.9 per cent.

In New Brunswick, J.D. Irving, Limited’s rate will nearly quadruple from 4.2 percent to 15 percent.

Ron Marcolin, divisional vice-president of the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, said in an interview it seems the United States is repeating what it did with steel and aluminum tariffs.

“This is a political argument, of course in the days of Trump he was using steal and aluminum to curry favour in the States where he had some issues, Biden now with a bit of a lower interest in the polls he too is listening to the very keen lumber lobbyist in Washington to bring up the rhetoric around softwood lumber yet again.”

“But, different government, different product, but still the same protectionistic attitude, but as far as New Brunswick exports are concerned, we understand that the product will still be the same, and all costs will be pushed onto the end consumer,” continued Marcolin

Marcolin mentioned the higher tariffs will penalize U.S. new home buyers because of increased lumber prices.

“Homebuyers are very much against this increase because they are the ones that will be paying the cost of the increased tax and tariffs, it’s not the lumber producers that are going to win here, it’s the homeowners that are going to lose.”

Marcolin added the U.S. cannot produce enough softwood lumber internally to meet its demand, “so they are forced to import … so, we play a major role in their imports and our exports, but it’s unfair to penalize the nation that’s your closest ally and trading partner.”

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