ITC Confirms Tariffs Against Canadian Softwood Lumber

December 7th, 2017 by Editor

The United States International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled today that the U.S. lumber industry is materially injured by Canadian government subsidies of its softwood lumber industry. Voting 4-0 in favor of the U.S. lumber industry, the ITC ruling confirms a U.S. Department of Commerce determination that imports of softwood lumber from Canada are sold in the United States at less than fair value and subsidized by the government of Canada.

In November, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that it would seek to impose average tariffs of around 20.8 percent on imports of Canadian softwood lumber.

The combined final rates by company as announced by the Department of Commerce are: Canfor 22.13 percent; Resolute 17.90 percent; Tolko 22.07; West Fraser 23.76 percent; Irving 9.92 percent; all others 20.83 percent.

The U.S. imports about a third of its lumber. More than 95 percent comes from Canada. In 2016, imports of softwood lumber from Canada were valued at $5.66 billion.

Both the Window and Door Manufacturers Association and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) have urged the U.S. and Canada to negotiate an end to the softwood lumber dispute, which has the potential to increase the cost of housing, as well as the price of moulding and millwork products.

“We are disappointed by the ITC ruling and believe this is a protectionist measure designed to safeguard the interests of major domestic lumber producers at the expense of American consumers,” said Granger MacDonald, NAHB chair and a home builder and developer from Kerrville, Texas. “This decision means the tariffs imposed by the Commerce Department will remain in effect for Canadian lumber shipments into the U.S. These tariffs are acting as a tax on American home buyers and lumber consumers. NAHB estimates that these tariffs will increase the price of an average single-family home built in 2018 by $1,360. Since the U.S. doesn’t produce enough lumber to meet the nation’s domestic needs, we need to take steps to boost domestic production. At the same time, the U.S. and Canada need to hammer out an equitable agreement to resolve this ongoing trade dispute that will provide American consumers a steady supply of lumber at a reasonable price.”

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