By Ben Olson
The U.S. Dept. of Commerce announced it would take trade actions against imports of Canadian softwood lumber into the U.S. that violate fair trade laws.
The announcement follows a letter of bipartisan support to Commerce from Senate Finance Committee members led by Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon).
The Commerce Dept. determined that Canada has been subsidizing lumber exported south of the border to the detriment of U.S. lumber producers. According to Commerce, those exports were worth an estimated $5.6 billion last year.
Under the new subsidy determination, softwood lumber imported from Canada will be subject to an average tariff rate of approximately 20 percent if the International Trade Commission makes a final affirmative determination.
“The announcement that the Commerce Department will implement tariffs on Canadian softwood is a strong first step toward protecting forest products jobs and our rural economy in the Northwest,” said Wyden and Crapo in a prepared statement.