Ottawa, ON – The Hon. Michael Chong, Conservative Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Randy Hoback, Conservative Shadow Minister for International Trade and Supply Chain Resilience, issued the following statement regarding the United States doubling of tariffs on softwood lumber:

“It’s clear Canada’s relationship with the United States has declined under Mr. Trudeau, hurting cross-border businesses and threatening Canadian jobs. The U.S. is Canada’s most important trading partner. One in five jobs here depend on exports to the U.S.

“Canadians were promised a renewed relationship by Mr. Trudeau. Instead, we got an EV tax credit that threatens Canadian auto manufacturing, stringent Buy American policies, measures targeting agricultural producers, and actions against energy pipelines – contributing to skyrocketing energy prices. And now, the U.S. is again targeting Canada by doubling tariffs on Canadian softwood.

“These actions by the United States are a serious threat to Canadian jobs and to Canada’s economic recovery from the pandemic. As the BC Lumber Trade Council stated, ‘These unfair duties hurt not only B.C. businesses and workers, but also U.S. consumers looking to repair, remodel and build new homes.’

“Mr. Trudeau’s approach to these threats has been to play down their seriousness and to sound hopeful. Downplaying these threats and being hopeful is not a plan to protect Canadian jobs.

“It’s clear Prime Minister Trudeau does not have a close working relationship with President Biden. The President was not willing to co-host a press conference with the Prime Minister following the Three Amigos summit and Mr. Trudeau came home from the summit empty-handed. Not only did the Liberals fail to deliver a tangible result for Canadian workers, but the U.S. President also didn’t even warn the Prime Minister that America would be doubling tariffs on softwood lumber. Either Prime Minister Trudeau didn’t mention softwood lumber in his meeting with President Biden in Washington, or the President just doesn’t put much stock in what the Prime Minister has to say. 

“Canada’s Conservatives believe we need to rebuild our standing in Washington in order to protect Canadian jobs. That means taking a clear and strong stand with the Biden administration to defend Canadian workers and Canadian industry. It means putting in place a plan, a Team Canada approach as was done during the NAFTA negotiations, to tackle the U.S. protectionist policies of the Biden administration.”