Reps. DeFazio and Herrera Beutler Applaud Unanimous ITC Vote to Protect U.S. Softwood Lumber Market
Reps. Peter DeFazio (OR-04) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03) today applauded the U.S. International Trade Commission’s (ITC) final 4-0 vote confirming that the U.S. softwood lumber industry is materially injured by unfairly subsidized Canadian imports.
“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,” said Reps. DeFazio and Herrera Beutler. “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.”
Because of the difference in timber pricing and market structures between the two nations—most of the United States’ timberlands are privately owned, while the majority of Canadian timberlands are owned by the provincial government —the two nations have a long-standing series of trade agreements, or Softwood Lumber Agreements (SLA) between them. The United States and Canada have been trying to negotiate a new Softwood Lumber Agreement, but those talks fell through last month.
Today’s ruling will activate final antidumping and countervailing duties on Canadian softwood lumber imports as determined by the Department of Commerce earlier this year. The application of these duties will provide much-needed relief to Oregon and Washington mills.
In November, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced its final determination that the Canadian government subsidizes lumber production and that exporters from Canada have sold softwood lumber to the U.S. at less than fair value, distorting the U.S. softwood lumber market and harming U.S. manufacturing jobs.
In September, Rep. DeFazio submitted testimony to a hearing held by the ITC calling for a ruling against unfair softwood lumber trade practices employed by the Canadian lumber industry. To view a PDF version of the testimony, click here.
Oregon is the largest producer of softwood lumber in the United States.