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Trade Remedy Cases on Softwood Lumber from Canada Could be Filed Soon

Thursday, October 13, 2016
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The first antidumping and countervailing duty cases against Canadian softwood lumber products in a decade could be filed as early as this week after the U.S. and Canada missed an Oct. 12 deadline for reaching a new agreement.

The U.S.-Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement expired Oct. 12, 2015, eliminating the additional duties and quotas that had restricted Canadian softwood lumber exports to the U.S. for the previous nine years. The two sides agreed that no AD or CV cases would be brought for an additional year to allow time to discuss whether to extend the SLA, which Canada favors, or amend it, which U.S. producers support. That standstill period expired Oct. 12 with no deal, prompting the U.S. Lumber Coalition to say it now has “no choice but to move to initiate trade cases against unfairly traded imports from Canada at the most effective time,” which could come as early as Oct. 13.

However, it would take months for any subsequent investigations to be completed, during which time no AD or CV duties would be assessed. That gives the two sides additional time to negotiate, and U.S. Trade Representative Mike Froman and Canadian International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland said they will continue discussions past Oct. 12 in hopes of achieving “a new agreement that is designed to maintain Canadian exports at or below an agreed-upon U.S. market share to be negotiated.”

For more information on softwood lumber products that could be subject to potential AD/CV cases, please contact Mark Ludwikowski at (202) 730-4967, Kristen Smith at (202) 730-4965, or David Craven at (312) 279-2844. Click here to register for an Oct. 27 webinar on the basics of AD proceedings.

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