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, 2017U.S. Department of Commerce Fact Sheet

June 1, 2017Federal Government Announces Support for Forest Sector Workers and Families

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