U.S. may levy anti-subsidy duties of 20 percent on Canadian softwood lumber
April 25, 2017 | 1:35 am CDT
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The United States government will impose tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber following a Commerce Department determination that Canada subsidizes softwood lumber production.
The U.S. Department of Commerce's preliminary determination resulted from a petition filed in November 2016 by a U.S. trade group, the Committee Overseeing Action for Lumber International Trade Investigations or Negotiations (COALITION). Canada's government said it disagreed strongly with the U.S. decision.
The group claims that subsidies by the Canadian government distort the U.S. softwood lumber market, hurting the business of U.S. sawmills.


As U.S. sets 20 percent lumber duties, Canada responds

The Government of Canada disagrees strongly with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s decision to impose an unfair and punitive duty.

Under U.S. trade laws and its international trade agreements, the U.S. industry has a right to offsetting duties. The Department of Commerce reported the following rates of subsidization:  

  • Canfor, 20.26 percent 
  • J.D. Irving, 3.02 percent
  • Resolute, 12.82 percent
  • Tolko, 19.50 percent
  • West Fraser, 24.12 percent
  • All other producers/exporters, 19.88 percent

The Coalition trade group, which cheered the order, says the Department of Commerce is still considering U.S. industry claims that Canadian lumber is also dumped in the U.S. market. Dumping duties are added to countervailing duties imposed to offset subsidies. A preliminary antidumping ruling is scheduled for June 23, 2017. “Today’s ruling confirms that Canadian lumber mills are subsidized by their government and benefit from timber pricing policies and other subsidies which harm U.S. manufacturers and workers,” said Coalition Legal Chair Cameron Krauss, Senior Vice President of Legal Affairs of family-owned Seneca Sawmill in Eugene, Oregon.

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Bill Esler | ConfSenior Editor

Bill wrote for WoodworkingNetwork.com, 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 WoodworkingNetwork.com.

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.