US Commerce Dept Final Duty Determination: Softwood Lumber

The US Commerce Department issued Thursday it’s Final Determination of both Countervailing and Anti-Dumping duties on Canadian softwood lumber imports to the US.

The North American forest products industry now waits for the last of these bureaucratic announcements, which were triggered in November 2016 when the US first launched the softwood lumber trade claim.

In mid-December the International Trade Commission will release it’s Final Determination. A matter of days following that will be published on the Federal Register.
Right at the beginning of 2018 these new final duties will come into effect.

At that time Canada’s immediate legal recourse is through US domestic trade court. Only once all the hurdles in several US trade courts are surmounted, usually after a couple of years of litigation, will Canada have the opportunity to pursue this matter internationally, through the WTO and NAFTA.

Last Madison’s heard was that by August combined duties collected were approximately $500 million.

In previous disputes, by the time the two sides managed to hammer out a deal, the total collected was approximately $5 billion.

When information regarding the legal fees paid prior to the signing of the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement was finally released, it showed that these amounts actually pale in comparison to what was paid by the Canadian and US federal governments to lawyers.