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On January 6, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) decided that there is a reasonable indication that the US domestic industry is being materially injured by imports of softwood lumber products from Canada that are allegedly subsidized and sold in the United States at less than fair value.
As a result of the ITC's affirmative determinations, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) will continue to conduct its antidumping (AD) and anti-subsidy countervailing duty (CVD) investigations on the imports, with its CVD decision due on February 20, 2017, and its preliminary AD margin determination due on May 4, 2017.
On December 16, Commerce announced that it had initiated AD and CVD investigations concerning Canadian softwood lumber product imports on December 16, 2016. AD margins on these imports, which were valued at USD4.5bn in 2015, are alleged at between 20.12 and 53.08 percent.
A petition to Commerce from the US lumber industry has alleged that Canadian provincial governments, which own the vast bulk of Canada's timberlands, provide standing trees to Canadian softwood lumber producers for a fee that is far below the market value of the timber, as well as a number of other subsidies and tax incentives.
Under the expired 2006-2015 US-Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA), Canada agreed to impose certain export measures on softwood lumber products. Negotiation of a replacement trade agreement proved impossible during the one-year "standstill period" that was added on to the SLA after its expiry. The one-year "standstill period" expired in October last year.
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