Canadian lumber subsidies harmed U.S. producers, Trade Commission rules
Jason Brochu, co-president, Pleasant River Lumber heads the U S. Lumber Coalition
WASHINGTON, DC – The United States International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled today that the U.S. lumber industry is materially injured by Canadian government subsidies of their softwood lumber industry.
Voting 4-0 in favor of the U.S. lumber industry, the ITC ruling follows a U.S. Department of Commerce determination that imports of softwood lumber from Canada are sold in the United States at less than fair value and subsidized by the government of Canada. 


Record-high lumber prices keep Canadian lumber industry strong, despite duties

Canada's softwood lumber exports to the U.S. have declined 8 percent since the duties were determined, but because the wood itself is worth more, the industry hasn't suffered.

 The antidumping and countervailing duties on imports of Canadian softwood lumber products have been collected pending the final demermination of the ITC, which was issued today.

“The U.S. Lumber Coalition fully supports the enforcement of America’s trade laws. The evidence presented to the ITC was clear - the massive subsidies that the Canadian government provides to its lumber industry and the dumping of lumber products into the U.S. market by Canadian companies cause real harm to U.S. producers and workers,” said U.S. Lumber Coalition Co-Chair and Co-President of Pleasant River Lumber Company, Jason Brochu.

“Now, with a level playing field, the U.S. lumber industry, and the 350,000 hardworking men and women who support it, can have the chance to compete fairly.” Pleasant River stamps each board with a Made in USA label at its Sanford, Maine sawmill.
Under the Trump Administration, the Department of Commerce, which operates the International Trade  Commission, has been ratcheting up pressure on U.S. trading partners over what it sees as subsidies across several industries, beginning the forest products sector. Last week China was hit with a formal determination by the ITC that it subsidized plywood exports to the U.S., effectively dumping low-priced plywood to the detriment of the domestic manufacturers. The Department of Commerce is expected to pursue solar panel manufacturers in China in coming weeks.   
“With the enforcement of U.S. trade laws, Iumber mills across the country will be able to make important investments in employees and mill operations so we can expand production to meet demand,” added Joe Patton, U.S. Lumber Coalition Co-Chair and Vice President of Wood Products at The Westervelt Company. 
In November 2016, the Committee Overseeing Action for Lumber International Trade Investigations or Negotiations (COALITION) petitioned the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission to restore the conditions of fair trade in softwood lumber between the United States and Canada.  
In November 2017, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced its final determination that Canada subsidizes softwood lumber production and that exporters from Canada have sold softwood lumber to the United States at less than fair value, distorting the U.S. softwood lumber market to the detriment of U.S. sawmills, their employees and communities.
The U.S. Lumber Coalition is an alliance of large and small lumber producers from around the country, joined by hundreds of thousands of their employees, and tens of thousands of woodland owners.

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

Profile picture for user billesler
About the author
Bill Esler | ConfSenior Editor

Bill wrote for, FDMC and Closets & Organized Storage magazines. 

Bill's background includes more than 10 years in print manufacturing management, followed by more than 30 years in business reporting on industrial manufacturing in the forest products industries, including printing and packaging at American Printer (Features Editor) and Graphic Arts Monthly (Editor in Chief) magazines; and in secondary wood manufacturing for

Bill was deeply involved with the launches of the Woodworking Network Leadership Forum, and the 40 Under 40 Awards programs. He currently reports on technology and business trends and develops conference programs.

In addition to his work as a journalist, Bill supports efforts to expand and improve educational opportunities in the manufacturing sectors, including 10 years on the Print & Graphics Scholarship Foundation; six years with the U.S. WoodLinks; and currently on the Woodwork Career Alliance Education Committee. He is also supports the Greater West Town Training Partnership Woodworking Program, which has trained more than 950 adults for industrial wood manufacturing careers. 

Bill volunteers for Foinse Research Station, a biological field station staddling the border of Ireland and Northern Ireland, one of more than 200 members of the Organization of Biological Field Stations.