Commerce Issues Preliminary Determination on Canadian Softwood Lumber - Global Trade Magazine
  June 29th, 2017 | Written by

Commerce Issues Preliminary Determination on Canadian Softwood Lumber

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  • Combined antidumping and countervailing duty rates on Canadian softwood range from 30.88 percent to 17.41 percent.
  • Commerce is instructing CBP to collect cash deposits from importers of softwood lumber from Canada.
  • For now Customs will continue to collect CVD cash deposits on imports of lumber from the Atlantic Provinces.

US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the affirmative preliminary determination in the antidumping duty (AD) investigation of softwood lumber from Canada.

The Commerce Department determined that exporters from Canada have sold softwood lumber the United States at 7.72 percent to 4.59 percent less than fair value based on factual evidence provided by the interested parties. Commerce will instruct US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to collect cash deposits from importers of softwood lumber from Canada based on these preliminary rates.

These preliminary AD rates are in addition to the preliminary countervailing duty (CVD) rates that the Commerce Department assessed on softwood lumber on April 24, 2017. When combined the applicable duty rates range from 30.88 percent to 17.41 percent.

“While I remain optimistic that we will be able to reach a negotiated solution on softwood lumber,” said Ross, “until we do we will continue to vigorously apply the AD and CVD laws.”

Commerce also released a preliminary determination that softwood lumber products produced in the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island, also known as the Atlantic Provinces, should be excluded from the ongoing investigation.

In 2016, imports of softwood lumber from Canada were valued at an estimated $5.66 billion.

The Department of Commerce is currently scheduled to announce its final AD determination on September 7, 2017.

The US International Trade Commissions (ITC) is conducting a parallel investigation to determine if US producers have been harmed by the softwood lumber imports from Canada. If the Commerce Department’s final determination is affirmative, and the ITC makes an affirmative final injury determination, the Commerce Department will issue an antidumping order. If the ITC does not find that US producers have been harmed, then the investigation will end, and no duties will be collected.

The exclusion of softwood lumber products produced in the Atlantic Provinces came at the request of both US industry and Canadian interested provinces, according to a Commerce statement. A final decision on this issue is expected by late summer.

If finalized, this determination would exclude softwood lumber products certified to be harvested and produced in Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia from US antidumping and countervailing duty investigations. These softwood lumber imports from these three provinces would thus be exempt from antidumping and countervailing duties. The US industry has indicated that it has faith in the certification process and is not being injured by these products.

But for now, since the current determination is preliminary in nature, Customs will continue to collect CVD cash deposits on imports of lumber from the Atlantic Provinces.