United States trade commission rules against Canada on softwood

ITC Confirms Tariffs Against Canadian Softwood Lumber

ITC Confirms Tariffs Against Canadian Softwood Lumber

The U.S. and Canada have been unable to come to an agreement on the trade of softwood lumber after a former, nine-year agreement expired in 2015.

The U.S. International Trade Commission said on Thursday it made a final finding that exports of softwood lumber from Canada injure U.S. producers, virtually ensuring that hefty duties on imports of the building material will remain in place for five years.

"Now, with a level playing field, the US lumber industry, and the 350,000 hardworking men and women who support it, can have the chance to compete fairly", Brochu said.

"We are confident that the ITC decision will be overturned", Yurkovich said.

"Imports of underpriced, subsidized Canadian softwood lumber have hurt American mills, millworkers and rural communities in OR and across the country", Wyden said.

The tariffs, outlined by the Commerce Department in November, would add duties that range from about 10-24%, depending on the company, which is lower than an earlier proposal.

"As a result of the USITC's affirmative determinations, Commerce will issue antidumping and countervailing duty orders on imports of this product from Canada", a release explaining the ruling said.

The commission made the decision in a unanimous vote on December 7.

The Canadian government has denied taking actions to prop up the industry to the detriment of the US industry. However, the present issue was launched as part of a Trump administration initiative to begin enforcing existing United States trade laws instead of relying on dispute resolution procedures in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Canada has already challenged the US lumber tariffs through two global dispute-settlement procedures, calling the duties "unfair, unwarranted and deeply troubling".

Canada and the USA are still trying to work out a new softwood trade agreement but have so far failed to reach a deal.

The decision will impose anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties affecting about $5.66 billion worth of lumber and comes amid increasingly acrimonious talks on renegotiating NAFTA, the trilateral trade pact between the United States, Canada and Mexico.