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For Immediate Release
November 2, 2017
Contact: Ben Gann, (202) 367-1169

Commerce Department Makes Final Determination Upholding Duties on Canadian Softwood Lumber

[Washington DC] - Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced it is finalizing antidumping duties (AD) and countervailing duties (CVD) on softwood lumber imports from Canada to the U.S. The Commerce Department's decision must still be approved by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), which is scheduled to make its final determinations by December 18.

Most Canadian firms will pay a combined AD/CVD rate of 20.83 percent, which is less than the preliminary combined rate of 26.75 percent. For the five companies (Canfor, J.D. Irving, Resolute, Tolko, and West Fraser) directly involved in the investigation, they will pay a combined rate that is different. Canfor will pay 22.13 percent, J.D. Irving will pay 9.92 percent, Resolute will pay 17.9 percent, Tolko will pay 22.07 percent, and West Fraser will pay 23.76 percent.

In the antidumping duties investigation, the Commerce Department established a final determination of 6.58 percent for most producers and exporters of softwood lumber from Canada. However, four Canadian companies (Canfor, Resolute, Tolko, and West Fraser) will pay different rates. Canfor will pay 8.89 percent, Resolute will pay 3.2 percent, Tolko will pay 7.22 percent, and West Fraser will pay 5.57 percent.

The Commerce Department also made a final determination in the countervailing duties investigation. Most Canadian firms will pay rate of 14.25 percent. In addition, five Canadian companies (Canfor, J.D. Irving, Resolute, Tolko, and West Fraser) will pay differing rates based on the subsidy rate determined by the Commerce Department. Canfor will pay 13.24 percent, J.D. Irving will pay 3.34 percent, Resolute will pay 14.7 percent, Tolko will pay 14.85 percent, and West Fraser will pay 18.19 percent.

The latest action taken by the Department of Commerce is in response to a petition filed by the U.S. Lumber Coalition, a group representing American softwood lumber producers, alleging harm caused by unfair subsidies for the Canadian softwood lumber industry.

Lumber prices have increased over the past year in part because of the duties placed on Canadian softwood lumber imported to the U.S. The Random Lengths Framing Lumber Composite price is now $433 per thousand board feet, an increase of 24 percent over the past year. The increase has been even more significant for the panel market. The Random Lengths Structural Panel Composite price is now $527 per thousand board feet, an increase of 42 percent over the past year.

"NLBMDA urges both sides to work together to reach a new agreement on the longstanding softwood lumber dispute as quickly as possible," said Jonathan Paine, President & CEO of the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA). "Duties are a lackluster substitute for a long-term agreement that would bring much needed stability and predictability to the pricing and availability of softwood lumber in the United States. It is time for serious discussions by policymakers to resolve this issue once and for all. The longer this dispute lasts the greater the burden there will be on the affordable housing community, which is already in crisis."

In 2016, imports of softwood lumber from Canada into the U.S. were valued at an estimated $5.66 billion. The Trump Administration has initiated 77 antidumping and countervailing duty investigations this year - a 61 percent increase from 48 in the previous year.

NLBMDA will continue to engage with the Department of Commerce, Canadian government, and Congress on the softwood lumber dispute in hopes of reaching a new agreement that does not put American lumber producers at a competitive disadvantage, unnecessarily restrict the availability of products, or increase the cost of housing to the detriment of prospective homebuyers and consumers.

The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) represents its members in the national public policy arena, with emphasis on efforts to 1) promote the industry and educate legislators and public policy personnel; and 2) assist legislative, regulatory, standard-setting and other government or private bodies in the development of laws, regulations and policies affecting lumber and building material dealers, its customers and suppliers. Founded in 1917, the association represents over 6,000 member locations operating single or multiple lumber yards and component plants serving homebuilders, subcontractors, general contractors, and consumers in the new construction, repair and remodeling of residential and light commercial.

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