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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