Softwood Lumber Trade Dispute

Recent Developments

July 21, 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced new deadlines for all antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) administrative reviews.  In response to a recent surge in the filing of new AD and CVD petitions and investigations and the ongoing COVID-19 world wide pandemic, they have decided to further uniformly toll deadlines for all AD and CVD administrative reviews by an additional 60 days.

June 3, 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced they are fully extending the deadline for the Final Determination of the First Administrative Review. 

April 24, 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced new deadlines for all antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) administrative reviews.  In response to operational adjustments due to COVID-19, they have decided to uniformly toll deadlines for all AD and CVD administrative reviews by 50 days. 

March 10, 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce initiated the Second Administrative Review (AR2) of antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of imports of certain softwood lumber products from Canada.  Each year (unless the case is settled), an administrative review will be conducted to recalculate the countervailing and antidumping duty rates for shipments during the period of review and to establish a new cash deposit rate for future shipments.  A company is subject to the review if there has been a specific request for a review of that company filed by interested parties with the U.S. Department of Commerce.

February 3, 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce released its preliminary determination for the First Administrative Review (AR1) in antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of imports of certain softwood lumber products from Canada.

This preliminary determination includes both an assessment rate (see table 1 below), to be applied to exports during the period of review (April 28, 2017 through December 31, 2018) and a new cash deposit rate that will apply to new shipments upon completion of this review.  These rates will only be applicable to companies covered by the First Administrative Review, see U.S. Department of Commerce Notices for AD (pdf) and CVD (pdf) investigations.

Table 1:  Assessment Rate
Company CVD - AR1 Assessment AD - AR1 Assessment Total - AR1 Assessment
West Fraser 7.07 1.57 8.64
Canfor 2.93 2.02 4.95
Resolute 15.16 1.18 16.34
J.D. Irving 3.47 1.66 5.13
All Others 6.71 1.66 8.37

As both these rates are only preliminary, rates may change in the final determination; therefore, there is no change to the duties companies pay on their U.S. shipments.  Once the final determination, expected to be released on November 23, 2020, is published in the Federal Register (expected approximately November 30, 2020) the new cash deposit rates (see table 2 below) will apply for new shipments.

The preliminary new cash deposit rates that would be applied on new shipments after publication of the Final Determination in November, 2020 are as follows:

Table 2:  Cash Deposit Rate
Company CVD - AR1 Cash Deposit AD - AR1 Cash Deposit Total - AR1 Cash Deposit
West Fraser 7.51 1.57 9.08
Canfor 2.61 2.02 4.63
Resolute 14.66 1.18 15.84
J.D. Irving 2.66 1.66 4.32
All Others 6.55 1.66 8.21

January 2, 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced the Second Administrative Review (AR2) of antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of imports of certain softwood lumber products from Canada.

March 28, 2019, the U.S. Department of Commerce initiated the First Administrative Review (AR1) of antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of imports of certain softwood lumber products from Canada. 

January 3, 2018, the U.S. Department of Commerce published the countervailing (CVD) and antidumping (AD) duty orders in the Federal Register.

As a result, they will issue instructions to U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect CVD and AD duties on all lumber shipments from Canada since December 28, 2017.

The U.S. Department of Commerce also corrected certain ministerial errors, and published the amended final CVD and AD rates as follows:

Company CVD AD
Canfor 13.24% 7.28%
Irving 3.34% 6.04%
Resolute 14.70% 3.20%
Tolko 14.85% 7.22%
West Fraser 17.99% 5.57%
All others 14.19% 6.04%

Following the publication of the CVD order, companies, who were not individually examined in the CVD investigation, have 30 days to request the U.S. Department of Commerce to conduct an Expedited Review to establish a company specific rate for each requesting company.  See fact sheet for additional information on Expedited Reviews.

Appeals

World Trade Organization

The World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement includes a dispute resolution mechanism; a request can be made for a WTO panel to be established to determine whether a country's actions are consistent with the WTO agreements.  Canada has filed appeals of both the AD and CVD investigations.

North American Free Trade Agreement - Chapter 19

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Chapter 19, provides for binational panels to review final determinations made in CVD and AD cases.

  • Information related to the International Trade Commission (ITC) injury case - panel hearing scheduled for May 7, 2019
  • Information related to the antidumping investigation - panel has not yet been formed
    • December 5, 2017, the Government of Canada filed a notice of intent to appeal under Chapter 19 with the NAFTA Secretariat regarding the antidumping investigation.
  • Information related to the countervailing duty investigation - panel has not yet been formed
    • November 14, 2017, the Government of Canada filed a notice of intent to appeal under Chapter 19 with the NAFTA Secretariat regarding the countervailing duty investigation.  

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Other Softwood Lumber Information