News

New Brunswick Seeking Continued Exemption from Duties on Lumber Exports

FREDERICTON — The president of the New Brunswick Treasury Board says he’s confident that once President Donald Trump sees the facts, the province’s lumber exports to the United States will remain excluded from duties.

Roger Melanson, who is also New Brunswick’s minister responsible for trade, says he’s been working alongside the federal government to secure exclusions that have been in place since 1982.

The U.S. Commerce Department is expected to decide by Tuesday whether to impose duties on Canadian softwood, which American producers say is overly subsidized and unfairly floods their market.

Trump has called Canada’s actions a “disgrace” when it comes to its dairy, lumber, timber and energy.

There have been estimates the duties could range from 20 to 40 per cent.

The forestry industry contributes $1.45 billion to the New Brunswick economy each years and employs more than 22,000 people.

Melanson says the industry also creates jobs and economic growth in the neighbouring state of Maine.

He says while the New Brunswick government is pushing for an exclusion, it will help any communities affected.

____

The Canadian Press, 2017