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  November 8th, 2017 | Written by

US Slaps Duties on Softwood Lumber from Canada

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  • Efforts to reach settlement of US-Canada softwood lumber trade dispute failed.
  • Ross: “Disappointed that a negotiated agreement could not be made between domestic and Canadian softwood producers.”
  • Commerce: Canadian exporters sold softwood lumber in the US at 3.20 to 8.89 percent less than fair value.

The US Department of Commerce has announced the affirmative final determinations of the antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of imports of softwood lumber from Canada.

While significant efforts were made by the United States and Canada, and the respective softwood lumber industries, to reach a long-term settlement to this ongoing trade dispute, the parties were unable to agree upon terms that were mutually acceptable. As a result, the investigations were continued and Commerce reached its final determinations.

“While I am disappointed that a negotiated agreement could not be made between domestic and Canadian softwood producers, the United States is committed to free, fair and reciprocal trade with Canada,” said Ross. “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.”

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

The Commerce Department determined that exporters from Canada have sold softwood lumber the United States at 3.20 percent to 8.89 percent less than fair value. Commerce also determined that Canada is providing unfair subsidies to its producers of softwood lumber at rates from 3.34 percent to 18.19 percent. Canadian exporters were already paying preliminary duties as a result of an earlier determination.

The Canadian government slammed the decision. “The US continues to attack its closest friend, neighbor, and ally while domestically the US lumber coalition continues to put the interest of its members ahead of what is good for the American economy and American consumers,” said Bruce Ralston, minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology, in a press release. “The US lumber industry cannot produce enough lumber to meet US demand. A reliable source of softwood lumber products from British Columbia and Canada will benefit the US housing industry and American homebuyers.”

As a result of the decision, Commerce will instruct US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to collect cash deposits from importers of softwood lumber from Canada based on the final rates.

If the US International Trade Commission (ITC) makes affirmative final injury determinations, Commerce will issue AD and CVD orders. If the ITC makes a negative final determination of injury, the investigation will be terminated and no order will be issued.