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United States trade body rules Canadian softwood hurts USA industry

08 December 2017

The commission voted 4-0 in favor of the lumber industry, according to the USA lumber coalition.

In a 4-0 vote, the agency sided with the U.S. Lumber Coalition, a group representing U.S. lumber producers, and determined that the U.S. lumber industry is "materially injured" by imports of softwood lumber from Canada that according to the U.S. Department of Commerce "are subsidized and sold in the United States at less than fair value". The ITC finding of "injury", despite the current record-setting profitability of the US lumber industry, makes it very clear that this was not an objective evaluation of the facts.

"Now, with a level playing field, the U.S. lumber industry.can have the chance to compete fairly", said Jason Brochu, co-chairman of the U.S. Lumber Coalition and co-president of Pleasant River Lumber Maine. "Now, with a level playing field, the US lumber industry, and the 350,000 hardworking men and women who support it, can have the chance to compete fairly".

Senate Finance Committee ranking member Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenDemocratic senator predicts Franken will resign Thursday Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign Lobbying world MORE (D-Ore.) supported ITC's decision.

"With today's unanimous decision from the International Trade Commission, help is finally on the way", he said. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government is also facing pressure from the Trump administration on aircraft exports from Bombardier Inc. and Canadian rules that limit the import of USA milk and dairy products.

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"There can be no doubt that this process is biased in favour of the US industry". This decision means the tariffs imposed by the Commerce Department will remain in effect for Canadian lumber shipments into the U.S. These tariffs are acting as a tax on American home buyers and lumber consumers.

The disagreement centers on the fees paid by Canadian lumber mills for timber cut largely from government-owned land.

Last month, Canada filed for the creation of an expert panel under Nafta to determine on whether the duties are justified under law. More than 95 percent comes from Canada.

Trade data from the United States Department of Agriculture shows the amount of Canadian softwood imported fell eight per cent for first nine months of 2017, compared with the same period in 2016.

United States trade body rules Canadian softwood hurts USA industry