Agriculture and Forestry is committed to honouring Alberta's domestic and international trade obligations. The Department is actively engaged in ongoing trade related negotiations related to natural resources.
Agriculture and Forestry's interests are represented and protected in key federal and provincial programs and initiatives led through the Alberta ministries of:
- Jobs, Economy and Innovation
- Treasury Board and Finance
- Labour and Immigration
U.S. - Canada Softwood Lumber Trade Dispute
The United States (U.S.) is Alberta's largest market for softwood lumber products. Given the importance of the forest products sector to Alberta's economy, stable market access is essential.
The 2006 Canada - U.S. Softwood Lumber Agreement expired on October 12, 2015, and on November 25, 2016 the U.S. softwood lumber industry filed petitions with the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) requesting the initiation of countervailing, anti-dumping and injury investigations into imports of certain softwood lumber products from Canada.
Commerce investigates provincial, territorial and federal assistance programs, which the U.S. industry alleges have benefited Canadian companies in countervailing duty (CVD) investigations. In addition to the federal government, implicated provinces and territories are required to respond to questionnaires regarding alleged assistance programs.
Commerce selected West Fraser, Resolute, Canfor and Tolko as mandatory respondents in initial CVD and anti-dumping duty (AD) investigations, and also selected JD Irving, Ltd. as a voluntary respondent in the CVD investigation.
The ITC issued its affirmative Injury Determination on December 28, 2017. Cash deposit instructions were issued with Commerce’s Final CVD and AD Duty Orders on January 3, 2018.
- U.S. Department of Commerce CVD Order
- U.S. Department of Commerce AD Order
- U.S. ITC Federal Register Notice
Published Final CVD and AD Rates:
The duty rates apply to all non-exempt Canadian companies exporting subject merchandise to the U.S.
Each year, during the anniversary month of the publication of a CVD or AD order, an interested party may request that Commerce conduct an administrative review of the order. The outcome of each review updates the actual weighted-average margin and duty assessments for shipments during the period of review and the future cash deposit rate until the next administrative review. Only those companies that are selected as mandatory or voluntary respondents, or that request an administrative review will be subject to the updated duty rates.
First Administrative Review (AR1)
Commerce selected West Fraser, Resolute and Canfor as mandatory respondents in AR1 for both CVD and AD administrative reviews. JD Irving Ltd. was also selected by Commerce as a voluntary respondent for the CVD administrative review. An additional 6 companies that operate in Alberta also requested a review in AR1.
The Period of Review for AR1 was April 28, 2017 to December 31, 2018 for the CVD review and June 30, 2017 to December 31, 2018 for the AD review.
Cash deposit instructions were issued with Final AR1 CVD and AD Duty Orders on December 1, 2020 and November 30, 2020, respectively.
Published Final CVD and AD Rates:
|Company||Assessment Rate (2017)||Cash Deposit Rate (2018)|
Only those companies participating in AR1 will be subject to the reduced retroactive duties owed on lumber exported between April 2017 and December 2018, and reduced cash deposit rates assessed on exports prospectively.
The U.S. industry is appealing Commerce’s AR1 Final Determination. As such, it is unlikely that any Canadian company will be refunded the difference between the duty deposit paid at the time of export and the new lower assessment rate while the appeal is pending.
Second Administrative Review (AR2)
Commerce selected West Fraser, Resolute and Canfor as mandatory respondents in AR2 for both CVD and AD administrative reviews. JD Irving Ltd. was also selected by Commerce as a voluntary respondent for the CVD administrative review.
The Period of Review for AR2 was January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019.
AR2 Preliminary results are expected May 2021 with Final CVD and AD Duty Orders expected September 2021. Only those companies that are selected as mandatory or voluntary respondents, or that request an administrative review in AR2 will be subject to the updated duty rates.
Third Administrative Review (AR3)
Commerce published its Notice to Request Administrative Review of its CVD and AD orders in the softwood lumber investigations on January 5, 2021. A Request for Review by an interested companies must be received by Commerce by the last day of the anniversary month of the publication of the AD or CVD order - January 2021. Commerce will select mandatory respondents for the third CVD and AD administrative reviews from among the companies participating. It is expected that Commerce will initiate AR3 by mid-March 2021.
Global Affairs Canada is continually updating its Frequently Asked Questions - Softwood Lumber page. Visit their site for updated information and recent announcements related to softwood lumber litigation.
Industry stakeholder inquiries can be directed to [email protected].
Interprovincial Trade Agreements
Imports and Exports
Regulations for importing coniferous logs or forest products with bark attached and for exporting Crown timber volumes and wood chips are managed through policy directives.
These requirements are in place in order to:
- protect Alberta's forests and economy from destructive forest pests that can be unknowingly introduced with shipments of imported coniferous logs and forest products with bark attached;
- ensure wood fibre exports are tailored to economic circumstances;
- enable cross-border trade and stimulate investment and economic development of Alberta's forest industry.
For further information on import or export authorizations, contact:
Government of Canada Import and Export Information
The federal government, through the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, is responsible for development of forest policies that prevent the introduction and spread of regulated pests into Canada and export programs for Canadian forest products.