© Reuters. File photo: On February 4, 2020, a worker inspects wood on a conveyor belt at the West Fraser Pacific Inland Resources Sawmill in Smithers, British Columbia, Canada. REUTERS/Jesse Winter
(Reuters)-Canadian Trade Minister Mary Wu said on Wednesday that the United States has decided to almost double the tariffs on Canadian cork from most producers to 17.9%, adding that Canada is “very disappointed.”
The current tax rate for most companies is about 9%.
Wu said that the U.S. Department of Commerce announced on Wednesday the final results of the second administrative review of anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders for certain Canadian cork products.
“Canada is very disappointed with the US decision to increase its unfair tariff on Canadian cork from most producers to 17.9%,” Ng said in a statement.
“Canada calls on the United States to stop imposing these baseless tariffs on Canadian cork products.”
The US Department of Commerce and the Office of the US Trade Representative did not respond to requests for comment on Wednesday night. Earlier this year, Washington announced plans to double the import tariffs on Canadian timber and requested the establishment of a dispute settlement group on Canadian dairy product import quotas.
Canada’s softwood timber industry is an important part of the country’s forestry sector, which contributed more than $25 billion to the country’s GDP in 2020 and employs nearly 185,000 workers. The British Columbia Timber Trade Commission also expressed disappointment.
Ng stated, “After completing any legal challenges under Chapter 10 of the Canada-U.S.-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) or in the U.S. courts, these new anti-dumping and countervailing duty rates will be applied retrospectively to companies subject to the second administrative review. ”
“These unreasonable tariffs harm Canadian communities, businesses and workers,” she said, adding: “They are also a tax on American consumers.”
In recent months, timber tariffs have not been the only issue in dispute between Washington and Ottawa. President Joe Biden cancelled the oil pipeline from Canada to the United States supported by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on his first day in office.
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