OTTAWA, June 26, 2017 /CNW/ - The re-introduction of a second tariff on Canadian softwood lumber exports pushes the industry closer to crisis, says Unifor.
"These tariffs are a slap in the face to the concept of fair trade," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. "It's President Trump's gift to U.S. landowners and hundreds of Canadian communities will pay the price."
The anti-dumping duty announced today by the U.S. government will add to the countervailing duties announced in April 2017. The combined duties on Canadian exports could reach as high at 31%. Conservative estimates suggest that sustained 25% combined duties could yield a loss of 25,000 jobs.
Unifor says that the $867-million forestry industry aid package announced by the Canadian government in May will help cushion the blow, but it is not a long-term solution.
"Our forestry industry needs a new softwood agreement that defends good jobs and strengthens Canadian competitiveness," said Scott Doherty, Executive Assistant to the Unifor National President. "It's very unlikely these tariffs will stand up to legal scrutiny, so Canada should bargain from a position of strength."
In 2002 the U.S. government imposed similar tariffs, but international trade tribunals have consistently over-ruled American duties on Canadian lumber. While Unifor is confident that the new U.S. duties are illegal, it can take years for appeals to be resolved.
Unifor has nearly 24,000 forestry members at 134 employers in every region of Canada. It is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions merged.
For further information: please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at [email protected] or 778-903-6549 (cell).