While Talks Stall, U.S. Lumber Producers Petition For Relief

With negotiations between the U.S. and Canada at an impasse for a new Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA), which expired in October 2015, a coalition of U.S. lumber producers has moved forward on another track and filed petitions with two U.S. government agencies requesting the imposition of import duties on Canadian lumber.

The Committee Overseeing Action for Lumber International Trade Investigations or Negotiations (known as the Coalition) petitioned the Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission in late November to “restore the conditions of fair trade in softwood lumber between the United States and Canada.”

The petition alleges that Canadian softwood lumber is being sold in the U.S. below fair market value. The Coalition said it is seeking trade remedies to “offset the harm caused to U.S. mills, workers, and communities.”

The softwood lumber dispute will likely be one of the first significant trade issues handled by the new Trump administration.

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