• Tariff cuts to benefit Canadian furniture manufacturers

    The Canadian government has announced it will eliminate import tariffs on 70 items, which should save manufacturers in the country, including some in the furniture industry, about C$32 million a year.
    The eliminations were announced by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, although details about which tariffs will be chopped won't be revealed until Dec. 7. They will be listed in the Canada Gazette. The furniture industry was cited as among those to benefit from the cuts.
    "This builds on our government's commitment in Budget 2010 to make Canada a tariff-free zone for industrial manufacturers," Flaherty said in a statement. "By lowering costs for these businesses, we are enhancing their ability to compete in domestic and foreign markets and helping them invest and create jobs here at home."
    This initiative eliminates customs duties on certain products used by Canadian businesses operating in a variety of manufacturing sectors. In addition to furniture, food processing and transportation equipment will also benefit.
    In its Economic Action Plan, the government began eliminating all tariffs on imported machinery, equipment and manufacturing inputs with the goal of making Canada a tariff-free zone for industrial manufacturers by 2015.
    Flaherty said eliminating tariffs on goods used in manufacturing helps Canadian companies operating in a wide range of sectors by lowering their production costs which should, in turn, increase the competitiveness of their operations.
    To date, Flaherty said more than 1,800 tariff items have been axed, providing about $435 million in annual tariff relief.