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Customs &
Trade News

August 31, 2017

U.S. postpones lumber decision as Canadian producers get reprieve of duties

The United States Customs and Border Protection has been collecting preliminary countervailing duty on softwood lumber products from Canada since April 28, 2017.

However, the U.S. Tariff Act provides that preliminary countervailing duties cannot be in place for more than 120 calendar days. Consequently, the period of time when preliminary countervailing duties can be collected under American law ended as of 11:59 p.m. on August 26, 2017.

Final countervailing duty rates would be set once the U.S. International Trade Commission publishes final affirmative injury determinations, following final affirmative duty determinations by the U.S. Department of Commerce. This could have occurred as early as late October.

On Monday the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that it will postpone until no later than November 13 its final determinations in both the countervailing and anti-dumping duty investigations. This is the last day available for Commerce to make these determinations. The announcement of this decision is expected to be released on November 14, 2017.

In his announcement of the postponement U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said: "I remain hopeful that we can reach a negotiated solution that satisfies the concerns of all parties. This extension could provide the time needed to address the complex issues at hand and to reach an equitable and durable suspension agreement."

A Commerce final determination date of November 13 would be followed by a final injury determination by the U.S. International Trade Commission, no later than December 21. Final duties would then be imposed upon publication of the final duty order in the U.S. Federal Register. This is expected to occur in late 2017 or early 2018.

Global Affairs Canada notes that both or either of the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission may issue their respective final determinations prior to the dates listed above, in which case, the final duty order publication date would move forward accordingly.


Transport &
Trade News