The move also increases pressure on negotiators of a new softwood lumber agreement between the United States and Canada.
The United States on Thursday announced plans to slap hefty tariffs on softwood lumber imports from Canada, further raising tensions among the two nations amid contentious North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) talks.
Decisive action is needed from Canada's Liberal government, which has indicated it is considering options to try to overturn the USA tariffs, said Stephen Hunt, USW Western Canada Director.
US lumber interests backed the decision for a tariff averaging 20.83 percent on Canadian lumber imports.
About half of Canada's softwood lumber exports to the United States originate from British Columbia, and the United States is B.C.'s largest market for softwood lumber products.
"This decision is based on a full and unbiased review of the facts in an open and transparent process that defends American workers and businesses from unfair trade practices", Ross said.
Nova Scotia has been collaborating with industry, Ottawa and US officials since the expiry of the previous Softwood Lumber Agreement in October 2015, to explain why the exclusion should be maintained.
"The U.S. Department of Commerce's decision on punitive countervailing and anti-dumping duties against Canada's softwood lumber producers is unfair, unwarranted and deeply troubling", said a joint release issued by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr.More news: This Japanese firm rewards non-smoker employees to promote productive work culture
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The US has claimed for decades that Canada is unfairly subsidising its lumber industry by charging minimal fees to log public lands.
The preliminary duties have forced Canadian companies to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in deposits, which could be refunded if they win a final ruling by the U.S. International Trade Commission on December 18, 2017.
Granger MacDonald, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Kerrville, Texas, said the Commerce Department decision could not "come at a worse time".
Jason Brochu, co-chair of the U.S. Lumber Coalition and president of Pleasant River Lumber Company, said U.S. lumber companies could now expand production to meet U.S. demand. "This administration must fully enforce America's trade laws, not just for the mills and workers in OR and across the country, but for the communities that depend on them". "We are reviewing our options, including legal action through the North American Free Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organization".
"Such a claim by Canada would be ridiculous after all the efforts we and our government have put into realizing an agreement, and the inability of the Canadian industry to have a unified position on any agreement to this day", he wrote in an e-mail. "This tariff only adds to the burden by harming housing affordability and artificially boosting the price of lumber".
"We urge the USA administration to rescind these duties, which harm workers and communities in Canada", the Freeland-Carr statement said.
The softwood lumber duties are a double-whammy for the USA housing sector, which is expected to have mortgage interest deductibility on new home purchases capped at US$500,000 during the federal tax overhaul. "These duties are a tax on American middle class families, too, whose homes, renovations and repairs will only be more expensive".