U.S. softwood lumber duties are 'unfair, unjust and illegal'

A Canadian softwood forest. The EDC said that the issue of softwood lumber has emerged as an ongoing irritant.

Photo By Export Development Canada (EDC)

Canada has filed a judicial review of a U.S. Department of Commerce tariff ruling that the Canadian government describes as an "unfair, unjust and illegal" extension of U.S. import duties on Canadian softwood lumber products.

The Canadian government and the forest industry have been engaged for decades with the United States in ongoing Softwood Lumber trade litigation. According to a government statement, the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement provided stability and predictability until its expiry on October 12, 2015, triggering the latest round in the lumber dispute. U.S. producers say Canada unfairly subsidizes its lumber sector.

Most recently, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued its final determination for the Fourth Administrative Review in the antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of imports of certain softwood lumber products from Canada. The U.S. Commerce Department in July set a duty rate of 7.99% on the product.

Mary Ng, Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development, said “For years, the United States has imposed unfair, unjust and illegal duties on Canadian softwood lumber, hurting Canadian industry and increasing housing costs in both countries.

“Yesterday, Canada filed notices of intent to commence judicial review regarding the latest U.S. decision maintaining these unwarranted duties on our softwood lumber products. Canada is taking the necessary steps to actively defend the interests of our softwood lumber industry and the workers and communities that rely on it," she said.

“Current U.S. softwood lumber duties have subjected most Canadian softwood lumber exports to the new combined duty rate of 7.99%.

“I have raised at every opportunity the unjustified U.S. duties on Canadian softwood lumber with my U.S counterpart, Katherine Tai, United States Trade Representative, and the need for both countries to find a mutually acceptable resolution to this dispute.

“Canada remains ready and willing to discuss a negotiated outcome to the dispute that provides the stability and predictability the sector needs to ensure its continued growth and success.”


Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Profile picture for user larryadams
About the author
Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).