In order for a countervailing duty to be imposed, the Commerce Department must find that foreign producers receive government subsidies, and the U.S. International Trade Commission must find that U.S. producers are injured or threatened with injury.
A separate case challenging the ITC’s finding that U.S. producers are indeed threatened with injury has yet to be decided.
There are currently duties of more than 27% on Canadian lumber shipments into the U.S., including 8% anti-dumping duties.
If fully reflected in U.S. lumber prices, the combined duties could add more than $1,000 to the cost of building a new home, imposing a hidden tax on American home buyers, renters and consumers.
Rayburn said that while NAHB does not believe that current Canadian forest practices are subsidized, the association does agree it is in the best interests of all parties for Canada to work to adopt a pricing system that is more open.
NAHB is urging the Commerce Department to assess the impact of the duties on American consumers and to take all actions needed to comply with the decisions of WTO and NAFTA dispute resolution panels.
In addition, bipartisan resolutions now pending in both the House and Senate call for the WTO and NAFTA cases to proceed expeditiously; they also call for “open trade between the United States and Canada on softwood lumber free of trade restraints that harm consumers.”
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