OTTAWA – Following the announcement that the U.S. will apply punitive countervailing duties of up to 24% on Canadian softwood lumber, the NDP is urging the Liberal government to stand up for Canadian jobs and fair trade.


“Our communities are still reeling from the last trade war, we have the scars to prove it.”  said Rachel Blaney, “Immediate action is required and a concrete short-term plan to deal with this emerging crisis, it seems the liberals don’t have a plan.”


The Canadian lumber industry employs over 200,000 people from coast to coast. During the last softwood lumber dispute, about 400 sawmills closed in Canada, costing over 20,000 jobs. These job losses disproportionately hurt rural communities.


“After months of claiming that there was nothing to fear, the Liberals have failed to get the job done on softwood, risking thousands of Canadians jobs. Now Canadian producers are faced with unfair duties that threaten mill closures and will harm communities across the country," said Tracey Ramsey, NDP critic for International Trade.


Another round in the courts and trades panels seem inevitable but it is not a long term solution. Having won them in the past has not stopped the devastation of the trade wars on our local economy.


“Softwood is an integral part of our economy ,” said Rachel Blaney,  “ Liberals need to ensure workers don’t pay the price for another unfair trade dispute.”


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