U.S. Lumber Coalition Comments on U.S.-Canada Softwood Lumber Negotiations and Expiration of Trade Case “Standstill” Period

CONTACT: Zoltan van Heyningen

[email protected] | 202-805-9133

October 12, 2016

U.S. Lumber Coalition Comments on U.S.-Canada Softwood Lumber Negotiations and Expiration of Trade Case “Standstill” Period

WASHINGTON, DC (October 12, 2016) – Today the so-called “standstill period,” stemming from the 2006-2015 U.S.-Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement, expires. During this period members of the U.S. Lumber Coalition committed not to file petitions under the U.S. trade laws against unfairly traded Canadian softwood lumber imports. With this expiry, members of the Coalition are now able to seek enforcement of existing U.S. trade laws to offset the harmful effects of subsidized Canadian imports.

The United States has sought to engage Canada on substantive negotiations for a new agreement for three years, part of which included extending the outdated 2006 agreement for two years, to allow for negotiations to yield a new agreement before the expiration of the “standstill” period.

The Coalition sincerely appreciates the hard work that the U.S. Government is doing on behalf of the entire U.S. industry and its workers to try to bring about an effective agreement to manage the harmful effects caused by subsidized Canadian lumber trade.

The Coalition continues to strongly support the objective of a new trade agreement identified in the June 29, 2016 Joint Statement by President Obama and Prime Minister Trudeau “to maintain Canadian exports at or below an agreed U.S. market share to be negotiated.” The United States is continuing to engage Canada on a framework for a new agreement that is true to the Leaders’ statement, and which takes into account the specifically communicated concerns by Canada. To date, Canada has continued to insist on frameworks that are inconsistent with the joint statement.

With the expiration of the standstill and no agreement attained, the Coalition has no choice but to move to initiate trade cases against unfairly traded imports from Canada at the most effective time. The U.S. lumber industry’s overarching goal is to restore an environment in which it can invest and grow to its natural size without being impaired by unfairly traded imports. This will allow the domestic industry to better supply the American market and help restore the thousands of jobs lost to unfair trade.