[Washington DC] - The U.S. Department of Commerce has announced it is placing countervailing duties on softwood lumber imports from Canada to the U.S. Levies ranging from 3 to 24 percent are being applied on softwood lumber from five Canadian companies. All other Canadian softwood lumber producers and exporters will pay a rate of 19.88 percent.
The action taken by the federal government is in response to a petition filed by the U.S. Lumber Coalition, a group representing American softwood lumber producers, alleging harm caused by unfair subsidies for the Canadian softwood lumber industry. The countervailing duties on Canadian imports are retroactive to January 25. A separate decision by the Department of Commerce on antidumping duties is scheduled for June 23.
On October 12, 2015, the most recent Softwood Lumber Agreement between the U.S. and Canada expired. There was a one-year cooling off period following expiration of the agreement. On November 25, 2016, the U.S. Lumber Coalition filed its petition with the Department of Commerce.
Lumber prices have increased over the past year in anticipation of duties being placed on Canadian softwood lumber imports into the U.S. The Random Lengths Framing Lumber Composite price is now $437 per thousand board feet, an increase of 26 percent over the past year.
"NLBMDA continues its call for the U.S. and Canada to reach a new long-term softwood lumber agreement," said Jonathan Paine, President & CEO of the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA). "Both sides should work cooperatively toward a resolution that ends the trade dispute and provides predictability and stability to the housing industry."
NLBMDA supports a new SLA that helps meet domestic demand for softwood lumber, does not put American lumber producers at a competitive disadvantage, unnecessarily restrict the availability of products, or increase the cost of housing to the detriment of prospective home buyers and consumers.