A group led by the U.S. Lumber Coalition has fired a new salvo in a long-running trade dispute, alleging that programs designed to help combat climate change are unfair subsidies to Canadian softwood producers. “We hereby submit an allegation of additional subsidies available to Canadian producers of softwood lumber products,” the group said in a 56-page document filed recently with the U.S. Department of Commerce. New subsidies come from four federal programs in Canada geared toward helping companies meet climate goals. The Coalition argues that funding related to reducing Canada’s emissions of greenhouse gases should be added to future U.S. determinations for setting countervailing duty rates.
The U.S. lumber lobby is complaining about two initiatives administered by NRCan – the Clean Growth Program and the Green Freight Assessment Program. Also being targeted are federal measures such as funding for high-growth businesses in Western Canada and favourable tax treatment to encourage the use of renewable energy sources. …On the provincial side, the Coalition submits that British Columbia is providing new subsidies, including through two programs under CleanBC, while New Brunswick oversees two climate initiatives that help industries such as forestry. The Canadian government, five provinces and Canada’s forestry industry told the Commerce Department that no unfair subsidies are being given specifically to Canadian softwood producers to fight climate change. …“Programs designed to achieve a better environment and avert a climate crisis cannot be considered specific.” [to access the full story, a Globe & Mail subscription may be required]