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RICHMOND, U.S.A, April 25, 2017—Today, the Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce interrupted a trade promotion tour through the eastern United States to sharply criticize the U.S. Administration’s decision to impose “countervailing duties” of up to 24 per cent on Canadian softwood lumber.

During a stop in Richmond, Virginia, Mr. Beatty said: “The notion that Canada’s softwood lumber industry is operating under unjustly advantageous rules is preposterous. Canada has built a world-leading softwood lumber sector with hard work, dedication and innovation. The tariffs announced by Mr. Ross and the U.S. Department of Commerce are nothing but thinly-veiled protectionist measures.”

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced on Monday it will begin to impose duties of up to 24.12 per cent on Canadian softwood lumber, stemming from supposed findings that exporters of softwood lumber from Canada received subsidies ranging from just above 3 per cent to 24 per cent.

“This is unfortunately the first salvo in a trade war, but the Canadian Chamber stands ready on the frontlines – and beyond. Through initiatives like this trade promotion tour and by working with our pro-trade allies across the U.S., we are working to ensure that Canadian businesses come out on top during these negotiations. And that includes the businesses in the softwood lumber sector,” said Mr. Beatty.

Mr. Beatty is in Virginia as part of a tour of eastern United States to promote and foster trade between Canada and the United States. Yesterday, he met with the Governor of South Carolina, Henry McMaster, and today with the Governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe.


The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is the vital connection between business and the federal government. It helps shape public policy and decision-making to the benefit of businesses, communities and families across Canada with a network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, representing 200,000 businesses of all sizes in all sectors of the economy and in all regions. Follow us on Twitter @CdnChamberofCom.

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Guillaum W. Dubreuil
Director, Public Affairs and Media Relations
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce