US Makes Final Finding On Canadian Softwood Imports

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"While I am disappointed that a negotiated agreement could not be made between domestic and Canadian softwood producers, the U.S.is committed to free, fair and reciprocal trade with Canada", Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said.

"With today's action by the Commerce Department, American lumber mills and millworkers are one step closer to getting hard-won relief against subsidized and dumped Canadian softwood lumber", said Sen. (TSX:CFP), West Fraser Timber (TSX:WFT) and Tolko Industries Ltd. Anti-dumping duties range from 3% to 9%, while countervailing duties range from 3% to 18%.

The antidumping duty and countervailing duty laws provide USA businesses and workers with an internationally accepted mechanism to seek relief from the harmful effects of dumping unfairly priced and unfairly subsidized imports into the United States.

The Canadian government has vowed to defend the domestic lumber industry against protectionist measures.

With the US and Canada unable to reach a long-term settlement, the Commerce Department on November 2 announced affirmative final determinations in antidumping and countervailing duty investigations of softwood lumber imports from Canada.

Newfoundland and Labrador is excluded from having to pay tariffs on softwood lumber headed for the United States.

The U.S. International Trade Commission has 45 days to issue its final determination on whether the American lumber industry suffered harm.

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"This decision is based on a full and unbiased review of the facts in an open and transparent process that defends American workers and businesses from unfair trade practices", Ross said.

The U.S. agency said Canadian producers have exported softwood lumber to the U.S.at 3.2 to 8.89 per cent less than fair value.

USA and Canadian officials have been working for months with industry representatives to come to an agreement to avoid the tariffs announced Thursday, which if permanently imposed will add a duty of around 20% or more, depending on the Canadian mill. "These duties are a tax on American middle class families, too, whose homes, renovations and repairs will only be more expensive".

"Unfortunately, for both Canadian producers and American consumers, this ongoing trade action against our industry continues to be driven by a protectionist U.S. lumber industry whose sole objective is to constrain the imports of high quality Canadian lumber to drive up prices for their own benefit". An earlier version said Resolute was the only producer to have its duties raised. "A reliable source of softwood lumber products from B.C. and Canada will benefit the USA housing industry and American home-buyers".

Foreign companies that price their products in the US market below the cost of production or below prices in their home markets are subject to AD duties. "We are reviewing our options, including legal action through the North American Free Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organization". Canadian unions and lumber companies fear the issue will eventually cause layoffs once prices and demand fall.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he didn't expect the softwood lumber decision to affect NAFTA negotiations between the United States and Canada.

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