Canadian businesses pull billions out of tax havens

For the first time since 2011, Canadian businesses pulled their money out of tax havens, ending a five-year run when more than $120 billion was stashed in the 10 most popular low-tax or no-tax countries.

The newly released Statistics Canada numbers provide the most concrete evidence yet that the Panama Papers may have had a chilling effect on the use of tax havens to minimize corporate taxes.

“This could be a sign that global efforts to curb corporate profit shifting to tax havens may be paying off,” said Dennis Howlett, executive director of Canadians for Tax Fairness, a group that lobbies for the closure of loopholes that encourage the use of offshore tax havens.

According to the government’s official foreign direct investment statistics, Canadian businesses reduced their holdings in the top 10 tax havens from $272.4 billion in 2015 to $261 billion at the end of last year, bringing home $11.4 billion.

This reversal could be due to a number of different factors, including reforms in Ireland that make it harder to exploit that country to avoid taxes, Howlett said. But investment reductions in Luxembourg and Bermuda point to a wider trend.

“We know that public attention to this has affected calculation of risk, so companies are being more cautious now because of the potential for a public relations backlash,” Howlett said.

Allan Lanthier, a retired senior partner at Ernst & Young and former chair of the Canadian Tax Foundation, cautions against reading too much into the numbers, as the majority of the reduction in foreign holdings in 2016 can be attributed to the fact that the Canadian dollar rose against the U.S. dollar, the currency in which most international investments are made.

“The cumulative amount of Canadian investment in these countries is significant, but the amounts appear to have been fairly stable for the last couple of years,” Lanthier said. “And there’s been no substantive Canadian legislative change to address corporate tax base erosion that would account for a change in the behaviour of Canadian multinationals.”

After the U.S. and U.K. the most popular destinations for Canadian foreign investment are Barbados, Luxembourg, the Cayman Islands and Bermuda, all of which have very low or no taxes.

“It’s still shocking that the top destinations for Canadian foreign direct investment abroad are tax havens,” said Toby Sanger, an economist with the public sector union CUPE who has been tracking the foreign investment numbers for the last five years.

Sanger said that the billions that flow into tax havens “are robbing government of money needed for public services.”

“There’s less economic activity happening in Canada as well,” he added.

The numbers made public this week capture only a fraction of tax haven use. For example, Howlett said, the official figures don’t reflect “the secret money.”

“Roughly two thirds of the problem is corporate abuse of tax havens, most of which is done legally,” he said. “And one third of the problem is wealthy individuals, most of which is done illegally.”

The Panama Papers investigation, based on a massive leak of tax haven records, revealed the kind of illicit activities that go on behind the closed doors of law offices and banks in tax havens like Panama, Bahamas and the British Virgin Islands.

Other than massive tax fraud, the international collaboration of more than 100 news organizations, including the Toronto Star, exposed how tax havens have facilitated the payment of bribes to obtain foreign contracts, provided cover for shady deals in African diamond mining, allowed corrupt politicians to hide their pilfered wealth and arms dealers to circumvent trade embargoes.

Diversity good for Canadian businesses, says new CIGI report

Diversity is good for the bottom line of Canadian companies, according to a new report from the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Waterloo, Ont.

For every 1 per cent increase in ethnocultural diversity, on average companies saw a 2.4 per cent bump in revenue and a 0.5 per cent increase in productivity, said Bessma Momani and Jillian Stirk, the authors of Diversity Dividend: Canada’s Global Advantage, published on Monday.

“We really wanted to sort of go beyond the normative argument, and there is a lot of positive rhetoric about that it’s a good thing for society, which we agree with 100 per cent, but we wanted to see if there was a business case,” said Momani in an interview with CBC Kitchener-Waterloo’s The Morning Edition host Craig Norris on Tuesday. 

They found the strongest relationship between diversity and performance in cultural industries, communications, business and legal services. 

‘The report doesn’t try to sugarcoat this, there is a lot of work to be done. There’s a great deal of discrimination in this country.’
Bessma Momani, co-author of Diversity Dividend

Methodology

The pair spoke to about 100 business leaders across the country,in a series of roundtables in seven different cities.

They did statistical data modelling based on the workplace employee survey by Statistics Canada, which covers more than 7,900 workplaces in 14 sectors, from 1991 to 2005.

“Simply, you just get a conversation going amongst people who are different. You don’t think the same, you have very different views on things, we know that sometimes it means access to markets abroad. If you have somebody in your company who is fluent in Mandarin, you’re more likely to go out and seek Chinese markets,” said Momani, when asked why she thought increased diversity led to revenue increases.

“We know that if you have an ethnoculturally diverse workforce, that maybe marketing to a certain ethnic group at this certain time of year because it’s a celebratory time for this community, could be a huge bump in revenue,” she said.

Discrimination still exists

“We started this project about two years ago and there’s been a great deal written about diversity and its benefits,” Momani added.

“But that all said, and I think it’s important, because the report doesn’t try to sugarcoat this: there is a lot of work to be done. There’s a great deal of discrimination in this country, people who are a visible minority, certain ethnic sounding names, I mean there’s a lot of discrimination going on in hiring practices, and we recommend a lot of things that could remove that.”

Among the recommendations for fixing hiring practices, the pair suggest using blind recruitment, getting rid of referral programs and using technology to find the best candidates for a position.

They also suggest eliminating the need for Canadian experience, which makes it easier for highly-skilled immigrants to get into the workforce.

Canada making business for American dairy farmers ‘very difficult’: Trump

[India], April 26 (ANI): U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday accused Canada of making business for American dairy farmers in Wisconsin and other border states very difficult.

“Canada has made business for our dairy farmers in Wisconsin and other border states very difficult. We will not stand for this. Watch!” Trump tweeted.

Trump’s tweet comes a day after his administration said that it would impose a roughly 20 percent tariff on softwood lumber imported from the country.

Trump had last week in Wisconsin, promised to stand up for the state’s dairy farmers, and singled out Canada for doing “some very unfair things.” (ANI)

Kinder Morgan Canada files for IPO to raise Trans Mountain funds

By Nia Williams



CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) – U.S. pipeline company Kinder Morgan Inc (KMI.N: Quote) said on Monday its Canadian unit filed a prospectus for an initial public offering of restricted voting shares, to help finance its C$7.4 billion ($5.48 billion) Trans Mountain expansion project.



Reuters reported in February that the company had begun talks with institutional investors to raise capital for the Trans Mountain project and was looking at either an IPO or joint venture.



“The preliminary filing represents an important step in securing the best opportunity for obtaining acceptable financing terms for the project,” Kinder Morgan said in its submission to U.S. regulators. The company did not disclose the IPO size or timeline in the submission.



The company continued to pursue the parallel paths of an IPO or joint venture and the project remained on schedule to start construction later this year, a company spokesman said.



The Trans Mountain expansion will nearly triple the size of Kinder Morgan’s existing pipeline and ship 890,000 barrels a day of crude from Edmonton, Alberta, to Barnaby, British Columbia. It was approved by the Canadian government last year despite opposition from environmental and aboriginal groups.



Kinder Morgan Canada’s business consists of the Trans Mountain pipeline, the Purge Sound system, the Jet Fuel pipeline system, the Canadian portion of the Cochin pipeline system, the Vancouver Wharves terminal and the North 40 terminal.



It also includes Kinder Morgan’s share of the Edmonton Rail Terminal, the Alberta Crude Terminal and the Base Line Terminal.



Sources, who declined to be named because they were not authorized to speak to the media, said in February that Kinder Morgan had hired Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) as an adviser.
  Continued…


FOREX-Euro pauses after rally, Canadian dlr hit by US duties on lumber

The euro edged lower on Tuesday, catching its breath after a relief rally sparked by the first round results of the French election, while the Canadian dollar fell on news of U.S. duties on Canadian softwood lumber.

The euro slipped 0.1 percent to $1.0860, off Monday’s peak of around $1.0940, its highest level since Nov. 10, after centrist Emmanuel Macron won the first round of the French presidential elections.

Polls show Macron defeating anti-EU, anti-euro nationalist Marine Le Pen in the runoff vote due to take place next month.

The euro is likely to show resilience given the low chances of Le Pen winning the second round vote on May 7, said Satoshi Okagawa, senior global markets analyst at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation in Singapore.

However, the near term gains will be limited in the wake of the common currency’s short-covering rally, he added.

“It will be hard to aggressively buy the euro to levels above $1.10,” Okagawa said.

Opinion polls indicate that the business-friendly Macron, who has never held elected office, will take at least 61 percent of the vote against Le Pen after two defeated rivals pledged to back him to thwart her eurosceptic, anti-immigrant platform.

The Canadian dollar fell 0.4 percent in early Asian trade after U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said his agency will impose new anti-subsidy duties averaging 20 percent on Canadian softwood lumber imports.

The loonie slipped to C$1.3559 per U.S. dollar at one point, its lowest level since late December when it sank to C$1.3598.

The greenback edged up 0.1 percent to 109.89 yen, but remained below Monday’s high of 110.64 yen, its strongest level since April 11.

Analysts say the yen, which often rises in times of market turmoil, could rally again if worries about geopolitical tensions over North Korea increase.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday the U.N. Security Council must be prepared to impose new sanctions on North Korea as concerns mount that it may test a sixth nuclear bomb as early as Tuesday.

Nonetheless, the dollar’s upside against the yen may be limited in the near term, said Shinichiro Kadota, senior FX strategist for Barclays in Tokyo.

“U.S. economic data has been a bit on the weak side recently and U.S. bond yields have had a hard time rising. So it looks like the dollar will be pretty heavy on the topside,” Kadota said.

(Reporting by Masayuki Kitano; Additional reporting by Hideyuki Sano in Tokyo; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

Euro pauses after rally, Canadian dollar hit by U.S. duties on lumber

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The euro edged lower on Tuesday, catching its breath after a relief rally sparked by the first round results of the French election, while the Canadian dollar fell on news of U.S. duties on Canadian softwood lumber.



The euro slipped 0.1 percent to $1.0860 EUR=, off Monday’s peak of around $1.0940, its highest level since Nov. 10, after centrist Emmanuel Macron won the first round of the French presidential elections.



Polls show Macron defeating anti-EU, anti-euro nationalist Marine Le Pen in the runoff vote due to take place next month.



The euro is likely to show resilience given the low chances of Le Pen winning the second round vote on May 7, said Satoshi Okagawa, senior global markets analyst at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation in Singapore.



However, the near term gains will be limited in the wake of the common currency’s short-covering rally, he added.



“It will be hard to aggressively buy the euro to levels above $1.10,” Okagawa said.



Opinion polls indicate that the business-friendly Macron, who has never held elected office, will take at least 61 percent of the vote against Le Pen after two defeated rivals pledged to back him to thwart her eurosceptic, anti-immigrant platform.



The Canadian dollar CAD=D4 fell 0.4 percent in early Asian trade after U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said his agency will impose new anti-subsidy duties averaging 20 percent on Canadian softwood lumber imports.



The loonie slipped to C$1.3559 per U.S. dollar at one point, its lowest level since late December when it sank to C$1.3598.
  Continued…


Bracing for Lumber Wars, Housing Psychology: Canada Eco Watch

(Bloomberg) — Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz has been highlighting the dangers of protectionism, and the country will probably get a taste this week as the U.S. is expected to issue preliminary countervailing duties on softwood lumber.

Bank of Montreal said in a report last week it expects duties in the range of 20 percent to 30 percent, with additional anti-dumping duties coming later in the year that could reach another 15 percent. And in a round-table interview with reporters Saturday, Poloz said the measures will probably have some impact on the nation’s economy.

“It is an important business for Canada, it’s got a lot of employment in it and it’s geographically diverse,” said Poloz, who was speaking in Washington where he was attending meetings of the International Monetary Fund. “It matters.”

The Bank of Canada has already added a “modest amount of negative judgment” into its forecasts, using a historical analysis of how countervailing duties affected lumber exports in the past, Poloz said.

Canada exported almost C$16 billion ($11.9 billion) worth of lumber in the year through February, levels not seen since 2006, as Canadian producers took advantage of unfettered access to the U.S. market after the last softwood lumber pact between the two countries expired in October 2015.

The run-up in lumber sales gave a significant boost to Canada’s struggling export sector last year — providing about one quarter of the increase in the country’s non-energy exports.

When the U.S. last imposed countervailing and anti-dumping duties on Canadian lumber in 2001, exports fell by about 12 percent over three years.

Poloz Comments

In the interview in Washington, Poloz touched on a number of issues — from Ontario’s housing measures to geopolitical risk. Here are the highlights:

  • Poloz said he’s happy Ontario took steps to slow Toronto’s housing market and expects they will make a “contribution.” He reiterated that he doesn’t think interest rates are the right tool for managing such a risk.
  • The Toronto housing market would probably have slowed regardless of any measures, since the price escalation would inevitably sap demand.
  • On business investment, he said while companies seem to be more prepared to spend, there’s no sign of the “expansionary investment” the bank is looking for. That sort of investment “as a macro phenomenon, it’s not really there.”
  • At a time when global economic data seems to be stronger than policy makers had been expecting, Poloz conceded the long period of serial disappointment could be producing more cautious economic forecasts.

Toronto Housing

The big story last week was the Ontario government’s measures — 16 in total — to rein in Toronto’s soaring housing prices, centered around a 15 percent tax on foreign home buyers. The steps were widely applauded by economists and policy makers, including Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Poloz. But will the measures be enough, or are they too late? 

That all depends on how effective the moves are at scaring away investors. Or as Morneau told reporters on April 21: “We do believe there is an important issue around psychology in the market that needs to be addressed.”

Expectations that real estate prices will continue rising are the highest since at least 2008, according to the weekly Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index released Monday.

Problem is, market psychology can’t be measured.

“That’s kind of a psychological thing, so it’s pretty hard to predict how those measures will affect the way people think,” Poloz said last week. “It’s one thing for me to say that doesn’t look sustainable.”

Week Ahead

  • Wholesale sales (Monday, 8:30 a.m.)
  • Bloomberg Nanos Consumer Confidence Index (Monday, 10 a.m.)
  • Retail sales (Wednesday, 8:30 am)
  • CFIB Business Barometer (Thursday, 7 a.m.)
  • GDP, industrial product prices, raw material prices (Friday, 8:30 a.m.)

Blame Game

Are the housing measures too late?

An analysis by Ted Carmichael, a former managing director at the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, shows there have been two major booms for Toronto housing before the current rally: one in the mid-1970s that came with a slowdown in actual prices but no collapse (real prices did fall however), and a much more pronounced one in the late 1980s that came with a crash. Carmichael concludes the current boom probably fits somewhere in between the previous two.

If Toronto’s housing market does take a sharp tumble, there may be plenty of finger pointing:

  • Did Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals wait too long to act, after the federal government moved last year?
  • Could Morneau’s measures have been more aggressive — as Ontario had wanted — and did he do a good enough job coordinating with the provinces. Many blame British Columbia’s tax on foreign buyers for driving capital flows to Toronto.
  • How much blame should go to former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, whose government chose to ignore recommendations from his finance department in 2015 for more measures? Harper’s reluctance to use fiscal policy to offset the slowdown also put pressure on the central bank to cut interest rates, fueling demand.
  • Should Poloz have been more concerned about the impact monetary policy was having on the housing market, even if it meant slower economic growth. The previous government’s major criticism of Poloz’s predecessor, Mark Carney, was that he was too preoccupied with financial stability issues.

The first indications of any impact should start coming next week, when the Toronto Real Estate Board is due to report sales and price data for April.

(Earlier versions of this story corrected the date of Poloz’s press conference and decline in lumber exports last decade.)

(Updates with real estate expectations survey in 15th paragraph.)

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.

Bracing for Lumber Wars, Housing Psychology: Canada (Correct)

(Bloomberg) — Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz has been highlighting the dangers of protectionism, and the country will probably get a taste this week as the U.S. is expected to issue preliminary countervailing duties on softwood lumber.

Bank of Montreal said in a report last week it expects duties in the range of 20 percent to 30 percent, with additional anti-dumping duties coming later in the year that could reach another 15 percent. And in a round-table interview with reporters Saturday, Poloz said the measures will probably have some impact on the nation’s economy.

“It is an important business for Canada, it’s got a lot of employment in it and it’s geographically diverse,” said Poloz, who was speaking in Washington where he was attending meetings of the International Monetary Fund. “It matters.”

The Bank of Canada has already added a “modest amount of negative judgment” into its forecasts, using a historical analysis of how countervailing duties affected lumber exports in the past, Poloz said.

Canada exported almost C$16 billion ($11.9 billion) worth of lumber in the year through February, levels not seen since 2006, as Canadian producers took advantage of unfettered access to the U.S. market after the last softwood lumber pact between the two countries expired in October 2015.

The run-up in lumber sales gave a significant boost to Canada’s struggling export sector last year — providing about one quarter of the increase in the country’s non-energy exports.

When the U.S. last imposed countervailing and anti-dumping duties on Canadian lumber in 2001, exports fell by about 12 percent over three years.

Poloz Comments

In the interview in Washington, Poloz touched on a number of issues — from Ontario’s housing measures to geopolitical risk. Here are the highlights:

  • Poloz said he’s happy Ontario took steps to slow Toronto’s housing market and expects they will make a “contribution.” He reiterated that he doesn’t think interest rates are the right tool for managing such a risk.
  • The Toronto housing market would probably have slowed regardless of any measures, since the price escalation would inevitably sap demand.
  • On business investment, he said while companies seem to be more prepared to spend, there’s no sign of the “expansionary investment” the bank is looking for. That sort of investment “as a macro phenomenon, it’s not really there.”
  • At a time when global economic data seems to be stronger than policy makers had been expecting, Poloz conceded the long period of serial disappointment could be producing more cautious economic forecasts.

Toronto Housing

The big story last week was the Ontario government’s measures — 16 in total — to rein in Toronto’s soaring housing prices, centered around a 15 percent tax on foreign home buyers. The steps were widely applauded by economists and policy makers, including Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Poloz. But will the measures be enough, or are they too late? 

That all depends on how effective the moves are at scaring away investors. Or as Morneau told reporters on April 21: “We do believe there is an important issue around psychology in the market that needs to be addressed.”

Expectations that real estate prices will continue rising are the highest since at least 2008, according to the weekly Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index released Monday.

Problem is, market psychology can’t be measured.

“That’s kind of a psychological thing, so it’s pretty hard to predict how those measures will affect the way people think,” Poloz said last week. “It’s one thing for me to say that doesn’t look sustainable.”

Week Ahead

  • Wholesale sales (Monday, 8:30 a.m.)
  • Bloomberg Nanos Consumer Confidence Index (Monday, 10 a.m.)
  • Retail sales (Wednesday, 8:30 am)
  • CFIB Business Barometer (Thursday, 7 a.m.)
  • GDP, industrial product prices, raw material prices (Friday, 8:30 a.m.)

Blame Game

Are the housing measures too late?

An analysis by Ted Carmichael, a former managing director at the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, shows there have been two major booms for Toronto housing before the current rally: one in the mid-1970s that came with a slowdown in actual prices but no collapse (real prices did fall however), and a much more pronounced one in the late 1980s that came with a crash. Carmichael concludes the current boom probably fits somewhere in between the previous two.

If Toronto’s housing market does take a sharp tumble, there may be plenty of finger pointing:

  • Did Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals wait too long to act, after the federal government moved last year?
  • Could Morneau’s measures have been more aggressive — as Ontario had wanted — and did he do a good enough job coordinating with the provinces. Many blame British Columbia’s tax on foreign buyers for driving capital flows to Toronto.
  • How much blame should go to former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, whose government chose to ignore recommendations from his finance department in 2015 for more measures? Harper’s reluctance to use fiscal policy to offset the slowdown also put pressure on the central bank to cut interest rates, fueling demand.
  • Should Poloz have been more concerned about the impact monetary policy was having on the housing market, even if it meant slower economic growth. The previous government’s major criticism of Poloz’s predecessor, Mark Carney, was that he was too preoccupied with financial stability issues.

The first indications of any impact should start coming next week, when the Toronto Real Estate Board is due to report sales and price data for April.

(Earlier versions of this story corrected the date of Poloz’s press conference and decline in lumber exports last decade.)

(Updates with real estate expectations survey in 15th paragraph.)

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.

CANADA STOCKS-TSX futures gain as oil prices rise

Stock futures pointed to a higher
opening for Canada’s main stock index on Monday as oil prices
rose driven by expectations that OPEC will extend output cuts
till the end of 2017.

June futures on the S&P TSX index were up 0.9
percent at 7:15 a.m. ET.

Canadian wholesale trade is due at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Canada’s main stock index ended barely lower on Friday as
bank stocks pulled back with lower bond yields after weak
inflation data and energy stocks shrugged off an oil slide to
notch gains.

An OPEC and non-OPEC technical committee recommended on
Friday that producers extend a global deal to cut oil supplies
for another six months from June, a source familiar with the
matter said.

Canadian National Railway, Canada’s largest railroad
company, is expected to report a rise in quarterly revenue as it
moves higher volumes of Canadian grains and U.S. soybeans,
refined petroleum products and petroleum coke. The company is
scheduled to report quarterly results after the closing bell on
Monday.

Dow Jones Industrial Average e-mini futures were up
1.01 percent at 7:15 a.m. ET, while S&P 500 e-mini futures
were up 1.15 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures
were up 1.06 percent.

(Morning News Call newsletter here
; The Day Ahead newsletter here)

TOP STORIES

Canadian rig contractor Precision Drilling Corp,
reported a smaller-than-expected rise in revenue as the
rates customers paid to hire rigs fell despite increased demand.

Canada’s Cenovus Energy Inc has said it may sell
parts of the Deep Basin natural gas assets it recently bought
from Houston-based ConocoPhillips, Royal Bank of Canada
analysts wrote in a research note on Sunday.

Canadian engineering and construction company SNC-Lavalin
Group Inc won a contract from Saudi Aramco for initial
engineering and design work to expand the gas-oil separation
plant of the Berri oilfield, industry sources said.

ANALYST RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS

IGM Financial Inc: RBC raises target price to C$47
from C$42

Mullen Group Ltd: Raymond James cuts target price
to C$16.25 from C$18.50

Vermilion Energy Inc: Barclays cuts target price to
C$64 from C$66

COMMODITIES AT 7:15 a.m. ET

Gold futures: $1271.3; -1.25 percent

US crude: $50.05; +0.87 percent

Brent crude: $52.39; +0.83 percent

LME 3-month copper: $5654; +0.55 percent

U.S. ECONOMIC DATA DUE ON MONDAY

0830 National Activity Index for Mar: Prior 0.34

1030 Dallas Fed Manufacturing Business Index for Apr: Prior
16.90

FOR CANADIAN MARKETS NEWS, CLICK ON CODES:

TSX market report

Canadian dollar and bonds report

Reuters global stocks poll for Canada

Canadian markets directory
($1= C$1.34)
(Reporting by Nikhil Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak
Dasgupta)

Statement by Canada on Softwood Lumber

OTTAWA, Apr 24, 2017 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) —

The Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources, and the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement following the imposition by the U.S. Department of Commerce of duties on imports of certain Canadian softwood lumber products‎ into the United States:

“Canada’s forest industry sustains hundreds of thousands of good, middle-class jobs in communities across our country. Many regions across Canada depend on its continued success. The forest industry is one of the most innovative sectors of our economy, developing new products and expanding its markets overseas while ensuring our environment is protected for future generations.

“The Government of Canada disagrees strongly with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s decision to impose an unfair and punitive duty. The accusations are baseless and unfounded.

“This decision will negatively affect workers on both sides of the border, and will ultimately increase costs for American families who want to build or renovate homes. The U.S. National Association of Home Builders has calculated that a $1,000 increase in the cost of a new house would put home ownership beyond the reach of more than 150,000 American families, and jeopardize thousands of jobs in the American home construction industry.

“The Government of Canada will vigorously defend the interests of the Canadian softwood lumber industry, including through litigation. In ruling after ruling since 1983, international tribunals have disproved the unfounded subsidy and injury allegations from the U.S. industry. We have prevailed in the past and we will do so again.

SUPPORT FOR WORKERS, COMMUNITIES, AND INDUSTRY

“The Government of Canada is taking immediate action to help affected companies, workers, and local communities. Now that the U.S. decision to impose preliminary countervailing duties has been confirmed, Minister Carr is re-convening the Federal-Provincial Task Force on Softwood Lumber this week to examine additional measures.

“The task force was formed to share information and analyze and assess the needs of forest workers and communities. The upcoming meeting will build on the progress we have made through this federal-provincial collaboration on the softwood lumber file.

Immediate action includes:

    --  Ensuring companies take full advantage of existing financing
        initiatives under the Business Development Bank of Canada and
        Export Development Canada, which offer a range of financial
        services to Canadian businesses on commercial terms. These
        initiatives are available to exporters of all sizes and can
        assist companies looking to make capital investments, expand
        market opportunities, and diversify with confidence into new
        markets.

    --  Promoting the use of Canadian wood right here at home. Budget
        2017 provided $40 million for increasing wood use in Canada,
        allowing Canada to continue its world leadership in tall wood
        building development, partnering with industry and the
        provinces to build on successes such as the 18-storey
        University of British Columbia's Brock Commons residence
        building, the tallest wood building in the world.

    --  Actively working to help the forestry industry to access new
        markets. International Trade Minister Franà§ois-Philippe
        Champagne is currently with a delegation of Canadian lumber
        representatives in China, promoting Canadian products. Minister
        Carr will travel to China in June with forestry leaders, to
        build on this momentum. Minister Jean-Yves Duclos is currently
        in the United Kingdom and Europe promoting Canadian wood.

    --  Employment and Social Development Canada stands ready to
        provide essential services to support workers who may be
        negatively affected. This support includes employment insurance
        and career counselling, as well as retraining and skills
        development programs that are delivered at the provincial
        level.

    --  Indigenous workers will have access to services through the
        Aboriginal Skills Employment and Training Strategy program.
        Currently, ESDC transfers nearly $3 billion annually to
        provinces through Labour Market Transfer Agreements, as well as
        an additional $2.7 billion over six years announced in Budget
        2017.


SEEKING A LONG-TERM AGREEMENT

“Canada will continue to press their American counterparts to rescind this unfair and unwarranted trade action. We are committed to working with the U.S. Administration to achieve a durable solution.

“Canada has put forward a number of reasonable proposals to the current U.S. administration that is responsive to views expressed by U.S. industry. These proposals ensure security of supply at fair prices to U.S. consumers and U.S. companies that rely on Canadian imports.

“We remain confident that a negotiated settlement is not only possible but in the best interests of both countries.”

Related products: Government of Canada announces Task Force of Softwood Lumber

SOURCE Natural Resources Canada

View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/April2017/24/c5779.html

SOURCE: Natural Resources Canada

Alexandre Deslongchamps, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Natural
Resources, 343-292-6837; Media Relations, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa,
343-292-6100, Follow us on Twitter: @NRCan; Media Relations Office, Global Affairs
Canada, 343-203-7700, media@international.gc.ca, Follow us on Twitter: @CanadaTrade,
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