Canada to Challenge US Lumber Duties

August 11th, 2022 by Travis Rains

The U.S. Department of Commerce has issued the final results of the third administrative review for its anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders regarding certain softwood lumber products from Canada. While the duty rates will decline by more than 9%, Mary Ng, Canada’s minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, says the removal of such duties would be the only “fair outcome.”

From now on, the combined “all others” rate applying to exports from companies subject to the review is 8.59%. The current rate for most companies, according to a news release from Ng’s office, is 17.91%.

“Canada is disappointed that the United States continues to impose unwarranted and unfair duties on Canadian softwood lumber,” Ng says in the release. “While the duty rates will decrease from the current levels for the majority of exporters, the only truly fair outcome would be for the United States to cease applying baseless duties to Canadian softwood lumber.”

She adds that the duties cause “unjustified harm” to the Canadian industry and workers, as well as amount to a tax on U.S. consumers at a time of supply and inflationary challenges. Ng then promises to take action.

“Canada intends to challenge the final results of the third administrative reviews, including through launching a dispute settlement process under Chapter 10 of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA),” she says, adding that litigation could also be brought via a legacy complaint through NAFTA and at the WTO. “International tribunals have consistently found the U.S. duties to be unjustified, and we believe this will again be the case.”

But Canada, as a long-standing partner with the United States, says it remains open to dialogue.

“Canada has always been willing to work with the United States to explore ideas that could allow for a return to predictable cross-border trade in softwood lumber,” Ng concludes. “We remain confident that a negotiated solution to this long-standing trade issue is in the best interests of both our countries, and we welcome an open dialogue with the Unites States to this end.”

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