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Trump administration announces Canadian lumber tariff

Published on April 25, 2017 5:11PM

A truck hauls logs from a local timber harvest. The U.S. Department of Commerce announced Monday a preliminary decision to impose countervailing duty subsidies — tariffs to counteract “market distorting effects caused by injurious subsidization of imports” — on Canadian softwood lumber imported into the United States. For most exporters, the department established a preliminary subsidy rate of 19.88 percent for which it will require cash deposits. In 2016, imports of softwood lumber from Canada were valued at an estimated $5.66 billion. The final determination is expected in September.

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A truck hauls logs from a local timber harvest. The U.S. Department of Commerce announced Monday a preliminary decision to impose countervailing duty subsidies — tariffs to counteract “market distorting effects caused by injurious subsidization of imports” — on Canadian softwood lumber imported into the United States. For most exporters, the department established a preliminary subsidy rate of 19.88 percent for which it will require cash deposits. In 2016, imports of softwood lumber from Canada were valued at an estimated $5.66 billion. The final determination is expected in September.


On Monday, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the preliminary determination in the countervailing duty (CVD) investigation of softwood lumber from Canada, according to a U.S. Department of Commerce press release.

Commerce preliminarily determined that exporters of softwood lumber from Canada received countervailable subsidies of 3.02 percent to 24.12 percent.

In 2016, imports of softwood lumber from Canada were valued at an estimated $5.66 billion.

As a result of today’s determination, Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect cash deposits based on these preliminary rates. Also, since Commerce determined that critical circumstances exist, certain companies will be subject to the retroactive collection of cash deposits.

The petitioner is the Committee Overseeing Action for Lumber International Trade Investigations or Negotiations (COALITION), which is an ad hoc association whose members are: U.S. Lumber Coalition, Inc. (DC); Collum’s Lumber Products, L.L.C. (SC); Hankins, Inc. (MS); Potlatch Corporation (WA); Rex Lumber Company (FL); Seneca Sawmill Company (OR); Sierra Pacific Industries (CA); Stimson Lumber Company (OR); Swanson Group (OR); Weyerhaeuser Company (WA); Carpenters Industrial Council (OR); Giustina Land and Timber Company (OR); and Sullivan Forestry Consultants, Inc. (GA).

The CVD law provides U.S. businesses and workers with an internationally accepted mechanism to seek relief from the injurious effects of unfairly subsidized imports into the United States.

Unless the final determination is postponed, Commerce is currently scheduled to announce its final CVD determination on September 7, 2017. This final determination will be based on the verification of the information provided to the Department for the preliminary ruling, comments by the parties and further analysis.

If Commerce makes an affirmative final determination of subsidization and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) makes an affirmative final injury determination, Commerce will issue a CVD order.

If Commerce makes a negative final determination of subsidization or the ITC makes a negative final determination of injury, the investigation will be terminated and no order will be issued.



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