WTO panel has ruled that the imposed U.S. duties breached global trading rules.
The World Trade Organization has sided with Canada in its lumber dispute with the U.S and ruled that the Trump administration incorrectly claimed that Canada was improperly subsidizing production.
The three-person WTO panel has ruled that the imposed U.S. duties breached global trading rules since Washington has failed to show that prices Canadian companies paid for timber on government land were artificially low.
The Honourable Mary Ng, Canada’s Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, said:
“The Government of Canada welcomes the unanimous WTO panel ruling that U.S. countervailing duties against Canadian softwood lumber are inconsistent with the WTO obligations of the United States.
“Canada’s forestry sector supports hundreds of thousands of good, middle-class jobs for hard-working Canadians in communities across our country, and we will always stand up for them.
“Canada remains unequivocal: U.S. duties on Canadian softwood lumber are completely unwarranted and unfair. This decision confirms that. Canada does not subsidize its softwood lumber industry, and that is why we have challenged these U.S. duties at the WTO and under the former North American Free Trade Agreement.
“Canada expects the United States to comply with its WTO obligations. U.S. duties on Canadian softwood lumber must not persist. They have caused unjustified harm to Canadian industry and U.S. consumers alike. U.S. homebuilders rely on Canadian lumber, and the current record-high lumber prices are hurting the economic recovery in both countries. Right now, during these difficult times, businesses and people in both our countries need support, not the burden of additional taxes.
“We will continue to work closely with the provinces and our softwood lumber industry to defend the forestry sector and its workers.”
The Canadian softwood lumber industry is an important sector in the Canadian economy, supporting thousands of jobs in communities across Canada and creating many positive spin-off effects in related industries and services. Canada's modern, efficient, environmentally sustainable lumber companies have the potential to serve markets at home and around the world.
In the United States, where demand for lumber exceeds what domestic mills can supply, housing and other industries rely on Canada for stable, predictable access to quality products.