Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, and Peter DeFazio, of Oregon, applauded the U.S. International Trade Commission’s unanimous vote that confirmed the U.S. softwood lumber industry is negatively impacted by subsidized Canadian imports.
Timber pricing and the market structures between the two nations are vastly different, stated a press release from Herrera Beutler’s office. A new softwood lumber agreement was under negotiation, but talks fell flat last month, according to the release.
The 4-0 ruling from ITC will activate final antidumping and countervailing duties on Canadian imports of softwood lumber as determined by the Department of Commerce earlier this year.
The duties will provide relief to Washington and Oregon mills, stated the release.
“Today’s announcement by the ITC is a clear sign that the U.S. is committed to protecting our timber jobs on the international stage,” the representatives said in a statement. “The U.S. has repeatedly tried to settle this issue with Canada at the negotiating table, but once Canada refused to meet our reasonable demands, this was the only path available to protect U.S. interests. We’re grateful to the Department of Commerce for their thorough investigation into this matter and the ITC’s subsequent affirmative ruling, and will continue to work together to protect manufacturing jobs in the Pacific Northwest and throughout the United States.”
In November, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced its final determination that the Canadian government subsidizes lumber production and that exporters sold the lumber to the U.S. at less than fair value, a move that distorted America’s market and harmed manufacturing jobs, stated the release.