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Industry & Trends

NAFTA Panel Agrees with Canada on Softwood Lumber Duties

A new ruling from NAFTA found inconsistencies in U.S. calculations of softwood lumber duties.

A recent ruling from a North American Free Trade Association panel agrees with Canada against the U.S. “dumping determination” that sets fair market value of duties on softwood lumber imports to the U.S. The U.S. Commerce Department had said the goods were being sold at less than market value thereby benefiting Canada.

The matter now goes back to the Commerce Department for further explanation including looking into its pricing methodology and how the taxes were decided in the first place.

In a statement announcing the finding Mary Ng, Canada’s minister of international trade, said the duties on Canadian softwood lumber are “unwarranted” and asked the U.S. government to revoke them immediately. She said that Canada will “continue to advocate for Canadian softwood lumber workers and industry” amidst further legal challenges against the U.S. duties.

Trade disputes between the two nations in a number of areas, including lumber, seem to be increasing and this latest action is sure to turn up the heat in further activities. The 60-page decision brings five areas by the NAFTA panel to the U.S. Commerce Department’s attention, implying that while certain aspects of the duties imposition have been contested, others may be found to be valid.

The Commerce Department has not publicly commented on this matter.


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