As usual with the seemingly-permanent Softwood Lumber Dispute between Canada and the US, the latest trade ruling brings up more questions than it resolves. An almost undecipherable ruling out of the World Trade Organization on softwood lumber this week caused some great confusion, in no small part because it is both for and against both Canada and the US (meaning: each side won one aspect of this particular subject).
THE SHORT ANSWER IS: in 60 days more results will come out, then we will know if there will be any changes to the current anti-dumping duty on Canadian softwood lumber imports into USA.
While pleased to see that the WTO found the United States did not follow the rules in calculating the anti-dumping margins, I am concerned by the ruling on zeroing. — Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland
Update to WTO Ruling on Softwood Lumber Anti-Dumping Duty: Apr ’19
The WTO’s long-running row over zeroing is a technical dispute that turned into a power struggle between the United States and the arbiters of international trade law. A WTO panel Tuesday approved a long-outlawed US trade policy, when a panel of adjudicators said Washington’s use of “zeroing” to calculate anti-dumping tariffs was permissible in the case of Canadian softwood lumber.
The panel ruled that the US Commerce Department’s practice of zeroing was permissible, despite the overall verdict that the United States violated WTO rules by imposing anti-dumping and countervailing duties on Canada over softwood lumber sales.