US ITC finds Canada lumber harms US producers, duties to remain

ITC Confirms Tariffs Against Canadian Softwood Lumber

The United States International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled today that the US lumber industry is materially injured by Canadian government subsidies of its softwood lumber industry.

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

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 US is set to maintain tariffs on certain Canadian lumber imports after its trade commission found goods were being sold in the US below cost. It has long argued Canadian lumber should be subject to a tariff to offset the subsidy.

A full report from the U.S. International Trade Commission is slated to be released on January 12, 2018.

However the value of those imports went up very slightly - 0.15 per cent - because even though less wood was shipped, each piece of lumber was worth more.

ITC Confirms Tariffs Against Canadian Softwood Lumber

Although workers in the Canadian industry fear layoffs, so far that hasn't happened, says Joel Neuheimer, vice-president of worldwide trade and transportation for the Forest Products Association of Canada.

Canada and the USA continue to negotiate a new softwood trade agreement.

Canada has appealed to worldwide panels in the dispute.

The ruling comes amid a growing number of trade disputes between the U.S. and Canada and is likely to complicate already tense negotiations over Nafta.

It is challenging the finding at the World Trade Organisation and via the dispute mechanism of the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta). The WTO process could take years.

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