U.S. announces preliminary tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber

The rates range from 3% to 24% per producer.

May 02, 2017 |

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The U.S. Department of Commerce recently announced preliminary tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber, ranging from 3.02% to 24.12% per producer.

The average import tax is 20%. The move is intended to help U.S. lumber producers compete with Canadian producers.

The U.S. International Trade Commission investigated whether Canadian producers' sourcing timber from government-owned land allows them to buy a product at a lower cost than U.S. producers, which typically source timber from private land. The tariffs are expected to generate $1 billion in revenue on imports of about $5 billion annually.

The duties were lower than analysts had expected, according to a Bloomberg report. The U.S. may also add antidumping duties, though, if allegations that Canadian producers are selling product at below-market rates in the U.S. are proven. The issue of volume and pricing of Canadian softwood lumber exports to the U.S. has been the source of a decades-long trade dispute between the two countries.

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