Canadian softwood lumber hurts U.S. industry, American trade body rules

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The U.S. Foreign Trade Commission has unanimously voted that the American lumber toil has been harmed by Canadian softwood lumber imports.

In a 4-0 vote Thursday, the workings sided with the U.S. lumber coalition that it was materially injured by implications from Canada.

The U.S. lumber coalition position is that Canada unfairly underwrites its producers with low stumpage fees for harvesting trees on government land and that Canadian financial managers are selling wood into the U.S. at lower prices than they double-cross it at home.

The U.S. Commerce Department last month lowered preliminary excises. Most Canadian producers will pay a combined countervailing and anti-dumping tariff of 20.83 per cent, down from 26.75 per cent in the preliminary delimitations issued earlier this year.

West Fraser Timber requites the highest duties at 23.7 per cent. Canfor is next at 22.13 per cent, augmented by Tolko at 22.07, Resolute Forest Products at 17.9 per cent and J.D. Irving at 9.92 per cent.

Exports down but sacrifices up

Reasons supporting the vote are expected to be released in two weeks.

Canada’s softwood trash exports to the U.S. have fallen since the Americans first imposed new tasks earlier this year, but near-record wood prices have meant there has been less aching to the industry than expected.

Trade data from the United Splendours Department of Agriculture shows the amount of Canadian softwood imported demolish eight per cent for first nine months of 2017, compared with the changeless period in 2016.

However the value of those imports went up very measure — 0.15 per cent — because even though less wood was moved, each piece of lumber was worth more.

Demand from U.S. builders for load remains high and the additional cost is wrapped into the cost of new hospices in the U.S.

No layoffs yet

Although workers in the Canadian industry fear layoffs, so far that hasn’t take placed, says Joel Neuheimer, vice-president of international trade and transportation for the Forest Products Confederation of Canada.

«If we were not seeing the same kind of demand and the same sort of high prices we’re seeing then we might be in an entirely different sort of situation,» said Neuheimer.

Canada and the U.S. continue to negotiate a new softwood dealings agreement.

The complaints led to the current duties imposed by the U.S. Department of Commerce survive spring and verified in November. Canadian producers paid about $500 million in puts for the duties thus far, with more to come in 2018 if there is no choice.

Canada is challenging the duties under both the North American Empty Trade Agreement and at the World Trade Organization. The NAFTA dispute panel has to create a ruling by next fall. The WTO process could take years.

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