IWPA calls on Canada-USA to Negotiate an End to Softwood Lumber Duties

BC’s Independent Wood Processors Association (IWPA) calls on Canadian and American governments to begin bi-lateral negotiations to resolve the softwood lumber dispute punishing consumers and value-added wood manufacturers.

“Only bilateral government negotiations will resolve this trade dispute. These punishing duties create uncertainty which discourages investment and disrupts supply lines resulting in higher lumber prices,” said Andy Rielly, IWPA Chair. “With all-time high prices, supply shortages, and increased building costs—The US Commerce Department’s ruling has more than doubled the duties on softwood lumber shipped into the US.”

Independent wood processors and other Canadian value-added wood manufacturers without forest tenure are unfairly captured by this ongoing land ownership dispute. Independent wood processors purchase their raw materials on the open market at about the same price consumers pay at hardware stores. Value-added wood producers already end up paying the duty twice: manufacturers input costs are based on the USA commodity prices that imbed the softwood duty, and when the value-added product is exported the duty is applied to the higher price.

“This dispute only benefits a few Canadian and USA corporations while punishing consumers and value-added producers.” said Brian Menzies, IWPA Executive Director. “Today, the border line has become blurred since Canadian tenured forest companies have been on a buying spree purchasing USA sawmills.”

“It is time that the political leadership acknowledge that this dispute benefits a few at a great expense to many consumers, and those working in value-added manufacturing on both sides of the border,” said Menzies.