The US Department of Commerce is taking action to increase preliminary tariffs on imports of softwood lumber from Canada.

If finalized, the higher import tariffs would increase producers’ costs and reduce their profits, but are unlikely to have an impact on the prices consumers pay for wood products, analysts say. .

The department’s recommendation to more than double the provisional “all others” countervailing and anti-dumping duty rate to 18.32% from 8.99% drew criticism from the Canadian government and industry and applause from Canada. the timber industry south of the border.

This increase is unlikely to push up wood prices, as they have already more than doubled in the past year to record highs. As this is a preliminary tariff rate, current cash deposit rates will continue to apply until final rates are released, likely in November.

“The US duty on Canadian softwood lumber products is a tax on the American people,” said Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade of Canada, in a written statement . “We will continue to challenge these unwarranted and damaging obligations through all available avenues.”

Former US President Donald Trump’s administration imposed an ‘all others’ tariff of 20% on Canadian softwood lumber in 2018, ahead of the Covid-19 pandemic, but reduced it to around 9%. % at the end of last year after a favorable ruling for Canada by the World Trade Organization (WTO).

In a press release, the US Lumber Coalition applauded the Commerce Department’s commitment to enforce trade laws against “subsidized and unfairly traded” Canadian lumber imports. The coalition said the US industry remains open to a new softwood lumber trade deal between the US and Canada “if and when” Canada shows it is serious in the negotiations.

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