On Monday, Feb. 3, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued its preliminary ruling. The reduced rates included in the decision are preliminary and therefore not legally binding until the final decision on anti-dumping and countervailing duties in August 2020.

“This is good news for Alberta. We know that Alberta is home to world-class forest companies and the United States remains an important customer for Canada. I'm pleased that preliminary indications show the U.S. lowering tariffs for Alberta and Canadian producers. Alberta's government will continue to defend its forestry sector in litigation and appeals under the North American Free Trade Agreement and World Trade Organization appeal processes. Reducing tariffs will increase the efficiency and economic output of our mills.”

Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry

“We are encouraged by this week’s preliminary determination but recognize there are still several steps ahead. That’s why we cannot lose sight of our ultimate goal to ensure Canadian softwood lumber is treated fairly and shown to create benefits on both sides of the border. Alberta will continue to support Canada in its ongoing efforts to push for the free flow of trade to ensure prosperity for both nations, and for Alberta’s forest industry.”

Tanya Fir, Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism

Quick facts

  • Every year, following the initial final tariff determinations by the U.S. Department of Commerce (USDOC), an administrative review may be conducted to ensure that the tariff rates reflect the most current information on Canadian exports of softwood lumber to the United States. In the administrative review process, the USDOC may increase, decrease or eliminate their tariffs altogether.
  • For both the Anti-Dumping (AD) and Countervailing (CVD) First Administrative Review (AR1), the USDOC selected Canfor, Resolute and West Fraser as mandatory respondents. For CVD AR1, the USDOC also selected JD Irving Ltd. as a voluntary respondent.
  • On Jan. 31, the USDOC issued the following combined CVD and AD preliminary tariff rates for AR1:
    • Canfor: 4.95% (2017), 4.63% (2018)
    • West Fraser: 8.64% (2017), 9.08% (2018)
    • Resolute: 16.34% (2017), 15.84% (2018)
    • JD Irving: 5.13% (2017), 4.32% (2018)
    • All others: 8.37% (2017), 8.21% (2018)

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