OTTAWA, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- Canadian Trade Minister Mary Ng on Thursday expressed extreme disappointment at the U.S. intention to significantly increase its duties on softwood lumber.
The U.S. Department of Commerce has signaled its intention to increase its duties on Canadian softwood lumber from 8.05 percent to an estimated 13.86 percent, Ng said in a statement.
"This measure is entirely unwarranted," she said. "U.S. duties on softwood lumber already unjustifiably harm consumers and producers on both sides of the border. Increased duties will further harm the Canadian softwood lumber industry, workers and communities, and make housing even less affordable for Americans."
The softwood lumber industry plays a key role in Canada's economic activity, serving as an essential component of the country's forestry sector.
The Canada-U.S. softwood lumber dispute has become one of the most enduring trade disputes between the two neighboring countries. Over the past 25 years, Washington has frequently imposed restrictions on Canadian softwood lumber imports through countervailing duty and antidumping laws. ■