FEDERAL WAY, Wash. -Aug. 16, 2001--Weyerhaeuser Company announced today that because of market uncertainty surrounding the U.S. Department of Commerce's decision last week to invoke a 19.3 percent countervailing duty on Canadian wood imports, it will curtail production at three cedar mills in coastal British Columbia, Canada.
The Canadian White Pine mill in Vancouver and the Somass mill in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island will be down for a minimum of two weeks starting Monday, Aug. 20. The New Westminster mill in the Vancouver area will also be down for a minimum of two weeks effective Monday, Aug. 27. The action affects some 1,000 employees. The three mills have an annual capacity of 275 million board feet. Between 70 and 80 percent of the wood produced by these mills is imported by the United States.
Bill Gaynor, Weyerhaeuser's senior vice president for Canada, said coastal B.C. will be the region hit hardest by the U.S. trade action against Canadian softwood lumber imports.
"Cedar should never have been included as part of the countervailing duty,'' Gaynor said. "Cedar is not a structural product. It's a high-value, appearance-grade product. The percentage-based duty announced last week will disproportionately damage cedar and other higher-value coastal products. This will have serious consequences for our business and will also result in increased cedar prices for the consumer.''
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