Softwood Lumber Dispute Heats Up As U.S. Imposes Tariffs

The dispute over Canadian softwood lumber entering the U.S. heated up this spring and summer when the U.S. Commerce Department announced preliminary countervailing duties on Canadian lumber imports in April, and followed up two months later with the announcement of antidumping duties.  This brings the total combined tariffs to be levied on Canadian softwood lumber imports to between 17.41 percent and 30.88 percent.

While the Canadian government denies it subsidizes the industry, it also acted quickly to provide more than $641 million in financial aid to Canadian softwood lumber producers to mitigate the new duties.

With NAFTA renegotiations set to begin in August, the new developments make it seem unlikely that a new softwood lumber agreement will be reached between the two countries by then.

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