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February 10, 2020

US lumber prices move up; sharp reduction in Canadian lumber producers duty rates

US lumber prices move up; sharp reduction in Canadian lumber producers duty rates

As the Softwood Lumber Dispute V file winds it’s way through the usual US domestic as well as international trade court tribunals, a preliminary ruling from the US Commerce Dept brings a sharp reduction in the duty rates paid on Canadian softwood lumber entering the US. All companies named, as well as the group “all others” category — except Resolute Forest Products — will likely be paying much less on their wood sold into the US come August 2020.

The Commerce Dept will be releasing reasons for this ruling “within a few days”. In August will be the final ruling, and soon after the new, lower, duties will take effect.

The other, something new, currently afoot is that the international tribunal for softwood lumber at the World Trade Organization is stymied since December 2019 due to refusal by the US to appoint new arbitrator judges. Another working softwood lumber retired, leaving only 3 judges on that panel. It’s supposed to be a minimum of 5.

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