The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) determined Nov. 30 that the existing duties on imports of this product from Canada will remain in place.
If the commission had voted to revoke the existing antidumping and countervailing duty orders on certain softwood lumber products from Canada, the action would likely "lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury within a reasonably foreseeable time."
Chairman David S. Johanson and Commissioners Rhonda K. Schmidtlein, Jason E. Kearns, and Amy A. Karpel voted in the affirmative.
The action comes under the five-year (sunset) review process required by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act. The Act requires the Department of Commerce to revoke an antidumping or countervailing duty order, or terminate a suspension agreement, after five years unless the Department of Commerce and the USITC determine that revoking the order or terminating the suspension agreement would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping or subsidies (Commerce) and of material injury (USITC) within a reasonably foreseeable time.
According to the U.S. Lumber Coalition, an alliance of large and small softwood lumber producers from around the country, the facts before the International Trade Commission were clear.
"Unfairly traded imports from Canada cause real harm to U.S. producers and workers," said Andrew Miller, chairman of the U.S. Lumber Coalition and CEO of Stimson Lumber. "The ruling by the Commission means the softwood lumber trade cases can continue to help offset Canadian lumber subsidies and dumping, allowing the domestic industry to compete against unfairly traded imports from Canada."
Canadian officials were disappointed in the news.
Mary Ng, Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development, said "Canada is disappointed that the USITC has determined that the United States can continue to impose unfair and unwarranted duties on Canadian softwood lumber products.
"U.S. duties on Canadian softwood lumber are unfounded and unjustifiably harm Canadian businesses and communities. With significant challenges in housing supply and affordability, these duties also harm U.S. consumers and businesses that need Canadian lumber.
"We will always fight for the best interest of Canadians and continue to use all available avenues to vigorously defend the workers, businesses, and communities who rely on softwood lumber for their livelihoods. This includes pursuing litigation under the North American Free Trade Agreement and Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement, and at the World Trade Organization."
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