Canada/US Softwood Lumber Negotiations Update

Last week Madison’s was contacted by representatives at the US Lumber Coalition, for their update on negotiations between the US Trade Department and Global Affairs Canada about the now-expired Softwood Lumber Agreement.

“Our goal is to have market share negotiated, implemented using border measures,” detailed US Coalition reps. “A quota is our answer. The 2006 Agreement used both quotas and export taxes as border measures; US industry is not satisfied that this has provided any remedy in the past.

This quota would be based on US lumber consumption volumes.”

The unpleasant part was this reality: after October 12, 2016 the US is no longer obligated to not file a trade case.

In response to Madison’s query, the media department at Global Affairs Canada sent a general email answer which did not address the specifics detailed above. Intrepid US customs broker Michael Jones explained to Madison’s in an email Friday that should there be a hard quota, any volumes overages would be subject to a surcharge “collected on exports being made at the time”, either as a Canadian tax or a US duty.
“This is why Canada was wise to continue their Export Permit requirements; to be able to determine how much was shipped by whom, enabling them to properly allocate volumes in the event of another SLA,” detailed Jones.