New Brunswick announces steps to combat 'unfair' U.S. duties on softwood lumber

FREDERICTON - New Brunswick announced a series of measures Thursday aimed at what it says are unfair trade actions by the U.S. government against the province's softwood lumber industry.

Treasury Board President Roger Melanson, the minister responsible for trade policy, says the province will support Ottawa in the pursuit of legal action against duties that are "unfair, unwarranted and disappointing.”

In the meantime, Melanson says the provincial government will work to find new export markets to reduce a reliance on trade with the United States, and plans to hire an expert firm to conduct a review of New Brunswick's forestry market.

The province also plans to work on enhancing innovation in the forestry industry through increased research and expanding opportunities like biomass and biofuels.

The government says Premier Brian Gallant and other representatives have been meeting with the federal and American governments to advocate for New Brunswick's industry since 2014.

It says submissions have been made to the United States Department of Commerce to demonstrate that New Brunswick has an "open, fair and undistorted market for timber."


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