US – Canada Softwood Lumber Dispute

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) announced February 15 that it is postponing a decision in the preliminary determination in the countervailing duty (CVD) case against Canadian lumber imports until April 24 due to the complexity of the case.  A decision was expected February 21st.

The ITC had determined that there is a reasonable indication that US lumber producers have been materially injured by Canadian softwood lumber imports that are allegedly subsidized and sold at or below fair value.  If a CVD is affirmed and critical circumstances apply in this case, duties could be applied retroactively.  If it is found that critical circumstances apply, all Canadian shipments into the US in February could be retroactively taxed.  Most producers have defensively priced their material to take into consideration an expected duty, which has pushed prices higher the last few weeks.

We anticipate prices to remain elevated while the Canadian mills build the duty into the price of their material.  US mills have raised their prices to match the elevated prices that are in the market.  We hope you are keeping and eye on pricing and placing price escalation clauses in your bids to protect you from getting stung.