Softwood Lumber Trade Dispute - Recent Developments
NEW On August 29, 2017, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce announced that the final decisions in the countervailing (CVD) and anti-dumping (AD) cases are postponed until no later than November 13, 2017, to allow more time to seek a negotiated settlement to the softwood lumber trade dispute.
As of August 28, 2017, provisional CVD duties are not required for softwood lumber shipments to the U.S. until the International Trade Commission (ITC) publishes its final determination on injury. The application of provisional AD duties is now extended until either December 27, 2017 or until the ITC publishes their final determination, whichever comes first.
June 26, 2017: The U.S. Department of Commerce issued its preliminary anti-dumping (AD) duty rate.
AD Rates: Canfor 7.72%; Tolko 7.53%; West Fraser 6.76%; Resolute 4.59%; all other companies 6.87%. Duties are in effect starting June 30, 2017. AD duties are in addition to countervailing duties (CVD) issued on April 24, 2017. Companies will be subject to the preliminary AD duty for a maximum of four months until the final order is issued in October 2017, according to the current timeline. However, if the Department of Commerce extends the final order to January 2018, the AD duties will remain in place for up to six months.
CVD Rates Issued on April 24: Canfor 20.26%; Tolko 19.50%; West Fraser 24.12%; Resolute 12.82%; Irving 3.02%; all other companies 19.88%. Duties are in effect starting April 28, 2017 until August 27, 2017.
Critical Circumstances: The Department of Commerce made a preliminary finding of critical circumstances for Irving and the “all others” group of companies, but not for Canfor, Resolute, Tolko and West Fraser. As a result, Irving and the “all others” companies will be subject to retroactive CVD duties on import entries made as of January 28, 2017 and retroactive AD duties on entries since April 1, 2017. The preliminary finding of critical circumstances may or may not be upheld when the Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission make their respective final determinations on duties and injury.
Product Scope: Canada, B.C., and other interested parties have submitted various production exemption requests to the U.S. On June 23, 2017, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued its Preliminary Scope Determination. The Department of Commerce intends to make its final decision on product scope in conjunction with its final CVD/AD determinations.
Company Exclusion Process: The Department of Commerce claimed that it does not have the legal authority to conduct a company exclusion process in this company-specific investigation. Following publication of the final CVD and AD orders (expected in January, 2018 if the timeline is fully extended, or as early as October, 2017 without extension) companies will have 30 days to request the Department of Commerce to conduct an expedited review to establish a company specific rate for each requesting company.
June 26, 2017: Government of B.C. and Government of Canada statements on the U.S. Department of Commerce preliminary determination of anti-dumping duties
June 26, 2017: U.S. Department of Commerce Fact Sheet
Contact Information: Government of Canada Softwood Lumber Action Plan (June 6, 2017). Government of Canada's list of contacts for companies and workers to get more information on announced programs.
The links below give further information and updates on various topics related to this Canada-U.S. trade issue. Please also check the federal government website for additional updates, frequently asked questions and announcements.
Softwood Lumber Information
- Frequently Asked Questions: Softwood lumber dispute (updated September 7, 2017)
- Information Bulletin on Softwood Lumber: Preliminary countervailing duty rate announced, April 24, 2017
- Canada's response to U.S. Department of Commerce preliminary determination
- Statement by Canada on Softwood Lumber (April, 24, 2017)
- Canada's explanation on scope (April 25, 2017)
- Canada's explanation on the company exclusions process (April 25, 2017)
- B.C. government actions on softwood lumber, April 7, 2017
- Statement from Special Envoy David Emerson, March 8, 2017
- Federal-Provincial Task Force on Softwood Lumber Announced, February 22, 2017
- Premier Christy Clark names David Emerson B.C. Trade Envoy to the United States, February 14, 2017
- Fact Sheets
- Canada-U.S. softwood lumber trade: Why it should matter to Americans (February 15, 2017)
- Government support for forestry dependent communities (updated April 7, 2017)
- B.C.’s forest economy: softwood lumber (February 15, 2017)
- Canada-U.S. Softwood Lumber Trade (updated April 26, 2017)
- Trade Litigation 2017
- Negotiations 2015 - 2017
- Company Exclusion Preparatory Information
- Background on the Softwood Lumber Agreement 2006