US imposes new duties on Canadian lumber

28 June 2017, 01:51 | Shawn Tate

Anti-Dumping Duties Imposed

Atlantic Canada could be exempt from US softwood duties: Ross

"This latest action by the Commerce Department to impose anti dumping duties of up to more than 7% percent on Canadian lumber shipments into the basically another tax on American home builders and home buyers that will jeopardize affordable housing in America".

In a joint statement, Canada's Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said: "The Government of Canada stands firmly behind the Canadian forest industry".

Things don't seem to be getting any better for Canada's softwood lumber producers, as the U.S. Department of Commerce has just slapped an additional anti-dumping tariff on a number of large Canadian softwood lumber producers, including Canfor Corporation (TSX:CFP).

U.S. lumber companies claim that Canada charges artificially low fees for trees.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Lumber Coalition, an industry lobby group, said it applauded Washington's move to counter Canada's "unfair trading practices".

On April 24, Commerce The Commerce Department said it would impose a countervailing duty of between 3 percent and 24 percent on Canadian lumber exporters.

"If we would have done that instead of doing another year of consultations across Canada, it would have given Obama the cover to push it through, and then would have also given us the ability to negotiate a softwood lumber agreement".

"We welcome the step by the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding consultations on an exclusion for Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland & Labrador from anti-dumping and countervailing duties on softwood".

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Commerce said it is scheduled to announce a final decision on the anti-dumping duties on September 7.

In response, British Columbia lumber producers expressed their desire to reach a new agreement on softwood lumber.

Koopman Lumber in MA also buys about 80 percent of its lumber from Canada and experienced price increases on Canadian lumber initially.

Last month, the New Brunswick government appointed former US ambassador David Wilkins as the province's special envoy on the softwood trade dispute.

The Trump administration has accused Canada of unfairly selling its lumber in the US below production costs, aided in part by improper government subsidies - a trade practice known as "dumping".

When combined the duty rates range from 17.41 percent to 30.88 percent. She says the two countries should be working together to improve the industry, North America-wide. Protectionist duties hurt Canadian companies and communities and also hurt US consumers who choose to build, buy or renovate a new home, Susan Yurkovich, the council's president, said on a conference call with reporters.

Results of a final investigation is expected in September to determine if the tariffs are permanent, the release noted.

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