IMRA opposes proposed U.S.-Canada softwood lumber deal
The International Mass Retail Association, an alliance of retailers, has opposed a U.S. proposal to resolve a softwood lumber dispute with Canada.
The U.S. proposal would end the current combined 27.5 percent antidumping and countervailing duties against Canadian softwood lumber and replace them with a cap of 31.5 percent on Canadian softwood lumber imports and a tariff of $200 per 1,000 board square feet for anything over the 31.5 percent. In addition, Canada would have to split about half of $1.7 billion collected in duties thus far.
“This proposed deal is not only bad for Canada, but for U.S. retailers and consumers as well,” said Sanda Kennedy, president of the Association, which is based in Arlington, Va.
“IMRA has long opposed the negotiation of an interim measure that would impose a quota and tariff on softwood lumber imports,” Kennedy said in a statement. “We fully believe that the deal as proposed by the U.S. will only lead to decreased supply from Canada and increased costs for U.S. consumers.
“The only way for Canada to resolve this longstanding problem is to continue with its suits before the World Trade Organization and the North American Free Trade Agreement panel,” Kennedy explained.