Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the U.S. Department of Commerce has concluded the preliminary evaluation regarding the exclusion of softwood lumber products produced in the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island, also referred to as the Atlantic Provinces.
This evaluation was conducted following the request of both U.S. industry and Canadian interested provinces, and it was determined that this exclusion from Atlantic provinces should be taken into account in the softwood lumber Antidumping (AD) and Countervailing Duty (CVD) investigations.
“I am pleased to announce that my staff has determined the exclusion of these products is appropriate,” said Secretary Ross. “The U.S. petitioners and other parties support this determination; it, of course, will be subject to further comment on the record. A final decision on the matter is expected by late summer.
“I remain hopeful that a negotiated settlement is both possible and in the best interests of both countries, our forestry workers, producers, and affected communities,” said Secretary Ross.
This determination will be posted in ACCESS, Commerce’s electronic document filing system, for public comment.
If finalized, this determination would exclude softwood lumber products certified to be harvested and produced in Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia from U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty investigations. These softwood lumber imports from these three provinces would thus be exempt from antidumping and countervailing duties. The U.S. industry has indicated that it has faith in the certification process and is not being injured by these products.
As this is a preliminary decision with respect to the exclusion of lumber from the Atlantic Provinces, for now, Customs will continue to collect CVD cash deposits on imports of lumber from the Atlantic Provinces.
With respect to the antidumping investigation on softwood lumber, that preliminary determination, and the question of whether additional cash deposits will be collected, will be announced later today. A final determination is scheduled to be made in September.
If, based on the comments received, Commerce makes a final decision to exclude from the AD and CVD investigations lumber certified to be produced in the Atlantic Provinces (from logs harvested from those provinces), we will stop the collection of cash deposits and instruct Customs to refund all the money collected.