New duties will rein in unfair dumping; level the playing field for U.S. softwood industry
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Reps. Peter DeFazio (OR-04), Greg Walden (OR-02), Rick Larsen (WA-02) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03) today released the following statement in response to the announcement by the U.S. Department of Commerce of final antidumping and countervailing duties on softwood lumber imports from Canada:
“The duties announced today by the Commerce Department will provide much-needed relief for the U.S. softwood lumber industry. Since the expiration of the last Softwood Lumber Trade Agreement in 2015, Canada’s share of the U.S. softwood lumber industry has crept up to one-third of the market, devastating U.S. producers. These new antidumping and countervailing duties will help to prevent Canadian producers from unfairly dumping artificially cheap products into our markets and will help level the playing field for U.S. producers competing against Canada’s government-subsidized timber.”
“Although the U.S. repeatedly came to the negotiating table with reasonable offers, the Canadians rejected our proposals, leaving our Commerce Department no choice but to move forward with imposing duties on Canadian softwood imports. Thanks to these new duties, the U.S. lumber industry will finally have room to grow to its full potential without the stifling constraints of unfairly-traded Canadian lumber.”
Since the expiration of the most-recent Softwood Lumber Agreement, negotiations between the U.S. and Canada to regulate softwood trade have been unsuccessful, l leaving the U.S. market unprotected against the increasing flood of illegally subsidized Canadian imports. After no new agreement was reached by late 2016, representatives from the U.S. timber industry had no choice but to petition the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to file antidumping and countervailing duties against Canadian lumber producers. Under long-standing U.S. trade law, U.S. industries have a right to offsetting duties against illegally subsidized and dumped imports which threaten to put domestic producers out of business.
The U.S. Department of Commerce earlier this year investigated the softwood lumber market and found that the Canadian government heavily subsidizes their softwood lumber production, artificially lowering production costs for Canadian mills and ultimately allowing them to dump softwood lumber products into the U.S. at below fair-value prices, putting at-risk the 350,000 jobs directly and indirectly associated with the U.S. sawmill and wood preservation industry. The remedy announced today will help counteract Canada’s unfair trade practices by enforcing antidumping and countervailing duties of between 9.92 and 23.76 percent on Canadian softwood imports.