John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, and Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, issued the following statement opposing unfair duties on the Canadian softwood lumber industry:

“As we take deliberate action to contain COVID-19 and prepare for our economic recovery, it has never been more important to vigorously defend our forestry industries, which play an important part in the economies of Canada and Ontario.

While the U.S. Department of Commerce has reduced duty deposit rates for many in the Canadian softwood lumber industry, we firmly believe that any rates of this sort are unfair and unjustified. These rates put the softwood lumber industry and the workers, families, and communities that rely on it at an unfair disadvantage during this already difficult time.

Fair and open trade is most beneficial for consumers on both sides of the border and we stand by our decision to defend the Canadian forest industry every step of the way. The rate for all companies should be zero – that’s the meaning of free trade.

We will continue to work closely with the industry, the provinces, and the federal government, using all available avenues to fight unfair rates on Canadian softwood lumber.”