17:37 GMT22 February 2020
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    US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that a US anti-dumping investigation of Canadian softwood lumber exports should exclude wood from the Atlantic provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — A US anti-dumping investigation of Canadian softwood lumber exports should exclude wood from the Atlantic provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced in a press release.

    "I am pleased to announce that my staff has determined the exclusion of these products is appropriate," Ross stated on Monday. "A final decision on the matter is expected by late summer."

    If the recommendation is upheld, the United States will stop collecting punitive tariffs from Atlantic province lumber and refund deposits previously collected, the release explained.

    In April, President Donald Trump began collecting duties of between 3 and 24 percent on Canadian lumber exports, retroactive for three months, after the Commerce Department determined in a preliminary investigation that forest products had been unfairly subsidized by Canada’s government.

    Results of a final investigation is expected in September to determine if the tariffs are permanent, the release noted.

    At issue is ownership of forests by Canada’s government, unlike in the United States where lumber companies typically own the land they harvest.

    US lumber companies claim that Canada charges artificially low fees for trees. US homebuilders oppose the tariffs, which they claim will add thousands of dollars to the cost of a new home.


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