WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Commerce announced the final determination of antidumping and countervailing duties on imports of Canadian softwood lumber products into the United States.
The U.S. Lumber Coalition, an industry group, said it fully supports this development as it will proportionally counter the unfair subsidies that the Canadian government provides its lumber industry in abuse of U.S. trade laws.
"We are pleased the U.S. government is enforcing our trade laws so that the U.S. lumber industry can compete on a level playing field," said Jason Brochu, U.S. Lumber Coalition Co-Chair and Co-President of Pleasant River Lumber Company in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine.
"The massive subsidies the Canadian government provides to their lumber industries have caused real harm to U.S. producers and their workers," Brochu said. "With a fair-trade environment, the U.S. industry, and the 350,000 hardworking men and women who support it, have the ability to grow production to meet much more of our country's softwood lumber demand." His firm claims four generations of experience in the forest products industry, it's mills producing 100 million board feet of spruce dimensional lumber and eastern white pine annually for customers throughout the East Coast region.
"We print an American flag on every stick of spruce we make," Brochu says.
Reaction by members of Canada's lumber industry was swift, and negative. New Brunswick mills, where JD Irving is located, say they were unfairly singled out from among Canada's Atlantic provinces.
The United Steel Workers Wood Council, which represents some Canada forest workers, said British Columbia had already been suffering from the threat of the tariffs, resulting in sawmill closures and layoffs.
"The U.S. Department of Commerce's announcement of final duties averaging 20.8% on Canadian softwood is completely unjustified and will be crippling for Canadian workers and our forestry industry if not overturned," said Ken Neumann, United Steelworkers National Director.
The combined final determination rates as announced by the U.S. Department of Commerce are: Canfor 22.13 percent; Resolute 17.90 percent; Tolko 22.07; W. Fraser 23.76 percent; Irving 9.92 percent; All Others 20.83 percent.
In April, the U.S. Department of Commerce ruled that Canada subsidizes softwood lumber production, distorting the U.S. softwood lumber market to the detriment of U.S. sawmills, their employees and communities. The U.S. Lumber Coalition's statement can be found here.
Additionally, in June, the U.S. Department of Commerce ruled that exporters from Canada have sold softwood lumber to the United States at less than fair value based on factual evidence provided by the interested parties. The U.S. Lumber Coalition's statement on the antidumping duties can be found here.
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. The Coalition is united in opposition to Canada's unfair lumber‐trade practices, including the gross under-pricing of timber on government‐owned lands. For more information, please visit the Coalition's website at www.uslumbercoalition.org.
Source: U.S. Lumber Coalition
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