Canada at NAFTA to challenge U.S. International Trade Commission ruling

Softwood Lumber Prices vs. US House Sales Price: 2019

SOURCE: Madison’s Lumber Reporter

Lawyers for the Canadian government will Tuesday present their oral arguments at the one-day hearing in Washington, DC,more than two years after the United States imposed new duties on Canadian softwood producers, said Globe and Mail Monday.

The lawyers will be summarizing their arguments, condensing hundreds of pages of documents filed over the past 18 months under an appeal process of the North American free-trade agreement’s Chapter 19 dispute-resolution mechanism. The issue of Canadian lumber is not a direct part of NAFTA, but under Chapter 19, Canada and the United States agreed to set up trade panels to settle disputes.

Softwood Lumber Prices vs. New US House Sales Price: 2019

SOURCE: Madison’s Lumber Reporter

Producers have been stung by softwood lumber prices that have plunged over the past 11 months amid weaker-than-expected U.S. housing starts:

Benchmark two-by-fours made from western spruce, pine and fir sold last week for US$332 for 1,000 board feet, down 47 per cent compared with a record high of US$622 last June, according to Madison’s Lumber Reporter. Low lumber prices and increased costs for logs have prompted some Canadian producers to temporarily shut down or reduce production at their sawmills.