Canadian duties on US imports: attacking Canadian consumers

August 25, 2005 by  

On August 25, 2005, the Toronto Star published an editorial saying that Canada should speak directly to the American people about the consequences of US duties on imported Canadian lumber. I agree with that part, but disagree with the Star’s suggestion that Canada threaten to “launch a painful trade war”.

US duties already impose a painful consequence for Americans: the duties force American consumers to pay a higher price for their lumber and their new homes. Were Canada to retaliate by imposing duties on imported US goods, Canadians would similarly suffer an unjust hike in their cost of living and a decrease in their standard of living. A trade war would be “painful” to Canadian consumers of US goods, first and foremost.

Our federal and provincial governments must not lose sight of the powerful fact that the Canadian lumber producer’s greatest ally is the American consumer. The appropriate response is to give American consumers an honest and true perspective: that the US lumber producers’ war on Canadian lumber is actually a scheme to loot the pocket books of American consumers.


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