The Canadian government will give C$867 million (US$642.2 million) in financial support to Canadian lumber producers and exporters to help them withstand the impact of new U.S. tariffs on Canadian softwood exports.

In April, Washington imposed preliminary anti-subsidy duties averaging around 20 percent on imports of Canadian softwood lumber. Canada thinks the duties are unfair. “Canadian workers are under pressure because of duties which are unfair and punitive,” said Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland. “We’re not going to let those Canadian workers, those Canadian families, be hurt and stand idly by. We’re going to help,” she said.

The U.S. Lumber Coalition, responsible for the complaint that triggered the duties, is calling the package another subsidy. “The new funding adds to existing government subsidies boosting the Canadian softwood lumber industry, creating an uneven playing field with the U.S. lumber industry and putting American jobs at risk,” the group said in a news release.

Tensions have increased between the U.S. and Canada and there are even talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.

C$500 million of the aid will be in the form of federal loans and loan guarantees for viable Canadian firms. Export Development Canada (EDC) will make commercial financing and risk management solutions to assist viable forestry companies.

From Woodworking Network: http://www.woodworkingnetwork.com/news/woodworking-industry-news/canada-gives-642-million-firms-hit-us-softwood-lumber-tax?ss=news,news,woodworking_industry_news,news,almanac_market_data,news,canadian_news