U.S. halves softwood tariffs

The U.S. Commerce Department will reduce duties on Canadian softwood lumber by half, but the perennial sticking point in the two countries’ trade relationship persists. Following an administrative review, the department announced rates for most Canadian lumber producers would drop 8.59 percent, from the current rate of 17.91 percent.

The decision hasn’t placated Canadian officials, who are appealing the imposition of any punitive tariffs at all. “These duties have caused unjustified harm to the Canadian industry and its workers,” International Trade Minister Mary Ng said in a statement. “They also amount to a tax on U.S. consumers, exacerbating housing unaffordability at a time of increased supply challenges and inflationary pressures.”