Softwood Lumber Trade Dispute

Last updated on February 7, 2024

British Columbia and the forest industry have been engaged for decades with the United States in ongoing Softwood Lumber trade litigation. The 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement provided stability and predictability until its expiry on October 12, 2015, triggering the latest round in the lumber dispute.

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Current state of Softwood Lumber trade with the U.S.

On November 25, 2016, the Committee Overseeing Action for Lumber International Trade Investigations or Negotiations ( “COALITION”) filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Commerce, alleging Canadian lumber is unfairly subsidized and dumped into the U.S. market, launching the “Lumber V” proceedings. B.C. is well prepared to respond to this litigation and will continue to defend B.C.'s interests against these unfounded allegations. B.C. is working alongside the federal government, other Provinces and the forest industry to respond to the ongoing litigation that imposes countervailing duties and anti-dumping duties on Canadian lumber. We also seek recourse through appeals to the US Court of International Trade, the World Trade Organization, and under the Canada/US/Mexico Agreement (formerly NAFTA).

Recent news

February 1, 2024: AR5 Preliminary Determination

The U.S. Department of Commerce released its preliminary determinations for the fifth administrative review (AR5) of antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) duties on certain softwood lumber products from Canada.

The preliminary determinations do not have any impact on current duties or cash deposit rates. Rates will not change until the U.S. Department of Commerce issues its final determination, expected in August 2024. The preliminary determination rates are listed in the table below. See the U.S. Federal Register Notice for preliminary results of the AD (PDF, 242KB) and CVD (PDF, 235KB) investigations.

AR5 - Preliminary Results
*Not in effect until AR5 Final and may change - for information only.

Company CVD - AR5 AD - AR5 Total - AR5
Canfor 6.14% 9.65% 15.79%
West Fraser 6.74% 5.33% 12.07%
JD Irving 3.88% 7.15% 11.03%
Tolko 9.61% 7.15% 16.76%
All Others 6.71% 7.15% 13.86%

November 30, 2023: ITC Sunset Review Decision

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has issued their sunset review decision. The ITC voted in favour of keeping the orders in place, which means that exports of softwood lumber from Canada will continue to be subject to antidumping and countervailing duties. Results of the sunset review will become official once the final determination is published in the U.S. Federal Register, expected late December 2023 or early January 2024.

The sunset review is a requirement under U.S. law for the ITC and U.S. Department of Commerce to review existing antidumping and countervailing duty orders every five years to determine if they are still needed.

October 5, 2023: NAFTA Chapter 19 AD Panel Ruling Issued

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Chapter 19 panel ruling on the United States Department of Commerce's final dumping determination has been issued.

September 22, 2023: AR5 CVD Preliminary Results Deadline Extended to January 31, 2024

The U.S. Department of Commerce extended its deadline for the preliminary results of the Fifth Administrative Review (AR5) in the countervailing duty (CVD) investigation of imports of certain softwood lumber products from Canada.

September 22, 2023: AR5 - Tolko and J.D. Irving Selected as Voluntary Respondents

The U.S. Department of Commerce selected Tolko and J.D. Irving as voluntary respondents in the Fifth Administrative Review (AR5) in the countervailing duty (CVD) investigation of imports of certain softwood lumber products from Canada.

Rate tables

AR4 - Amended Final Rates



AD - AR4
Total - AR4
Canfor 1.36% 5.25% 6.61%
West Fraser 2.19% 7.06% 9.25%
JD Irving 1.72% 6.26% 7.98%
All Others 1.79% 6.26% 8.05%

The above table shows final amended rates for the fourth Administrative Review released by the U.S. Department of Commerce.  These amended cash deposit rates took effect on August 1, 2023, the original Federal Register publication date of the final results.

AR3 - Final Rates

Company CVD - AR3 AD - AR3 Total - AR3
Canfor .95% 4.92% 5.87%
West Fraser 3.62% 4.63% 8.25%
Resolute 10.1% 4.76% 14.86%
JD Irving 2.41% 11.59% 14.0%
All Others 3.83% 4.76% 8.59%

AR2 - Amended Final Rates



AD - AR2

Total - AR2

Canfor 2.42% 17.12% 19.54%
West Fraser 5.08% 6.06% 11.14%
Resolute 18.07% 11.59% 29.66%
JD Irving 3.46% 11.59% 15.05%
All Others 6.32% 11.59% 17.91%

AR1 - Table 2:  Cash Deposit Rate

Company CVD - AR1
Cash Deposit
AD - AR1
Cash Deposit
Total - AR1
Cash Deposit
Canfor 2.63% 1.99% 4.62%
J.D. Irving 2.66% 1.57% 4.23%
Resolute 19.10% 1.15% 20.25%
West Fraser 7.57% 1.40% 8.97%
All Others 7.42% 1.57% 8.99%

AR1 - Table 1:  Assessment Rate

Company CVD - AR1 Assessment AD - AR1 Assessment Total - AR1 Assessment
Canfor 2.94% 1.99% 4.93%
J.D. Irving 3.43% 1.57% 5.00%
Resolute 18.71% 1.15% 19.86%
West Fraser 6.76% 1.40% 8.16%
All Others 7.26% 1.57% 8.83%

Contact Information

Economics and Trade Branch

PO Box 9514, Stn Prov Govt, Victoria, BC, V8V 1T7