Canadian Softwood Lumber Tariffs Postponed

Sept. 5, 2017

The U.S. is holding off on imposing tariffs on softwood lumber coming from Canada for now. Last week, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross postponed the final determinations on an antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) until no later than Nov. 14.

Commerce published preliminary determinations earlier this year, and under U.S. law, an AD final determination can be pushed back 135 days following the preliminary determination. “This extension could provide the time needed to address the complex issues at hand and to reach an equitable and durable suspension agreement,” said Secretary Ross in a release. “I remain hopeful that we can reach a negotiated solution that satisfies the concerns of all parties.”

Although not specifically stated in the Commerce release, the postponement will help the construction industry during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Delaying the tariffs “is important because tariffs—basically just a tax on consumers—will be felt most harshly by families trying to rebuild,” said National Association of Home Builders Chairman Granger MacDonald in a release. “And lumber prices will rise even more as flooding in Texas and Louisiana constrains timber harvests there. … In the aftermath of the devastating storm, demand for softwood lumber is expected to increase dramatically as home builders and remodelers repair and replace housing in Houston and across Texas.”

The previous final determinations were expected to be announced this month. Learn more about the AD and CVD here.

– Michael Miller, editorial associate

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