Ottawa won’t immediately offer forestry aid package after U.S. duties announced

Ottawa won’t immediately offer forestry aid package after U.S. duties announced

MONTREAL — Ottawa has talked with provinces about helping Canada’s forestry sector, but won’t move immediately once the U.S. imposes duties on softwood lumber imports, a government source says.

A financial package can’t be determined until the federal government studies the penalties that are expected to be announced Tuesday, said an official who declined to be identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

It took the federal government more than a year to announce the first of two aid packages after duties were imposed in 2001.

The U.S. Commerce Department is slated to announce Tuesday preliminary countervailing duties on Canadian imports. A decision on anti-dumping duties is expected to follow on June 23.

Industry analysts expect the combined duties could range between 30 and 40 per cent with three top Western producers being charged more than Resolute Forest Products (TSX:RFP) and New Brunswick’s J.D. Irving. An average rate will be applied to other companies.

Quebec said Monday it will immediately help its forest industry even as it waits for a decision from the federal government.

The Canadian Press
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