Softwood Lumber

The 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. The 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA), which provided stability and predictability for industry on both sides of the border, expired on October 12, 2015.

Canada and the United States continue to pursue a negotiated outcome to this important bilateral issue. The Government is also meeting on a regular basis with industry, provinces and territories, and other stakeholders.

Softwood Lumber Dispute

The Canada-U.S. softwood lumber dispute has become one of the most enduring trade disputes between both nations. Over the past 25 years, the United States lumber industry has frequently sought U.S. government restrictions on Canadian softwood lumber imports through the application of U.S. countervailing duty and antidumping laws – laws that allow the imposition of import duties when a U.S. industry is allegedly harmed by subsidies in the exporting country (countervailing duties), or by dumping, which is when a U.S. industry is allegedly harmed by imported products sold at prices that are lower than the cost of production or lower than prices in the domestic market (anti-dumping duties).

Recent Developments

  • 24-11-2020 – Statement by the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade about U.S. duties on Canadian softwood lumber

    On November 24, 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued the final results for its first administrative reviews of anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders on certain softwood lumber products from Canada.

    The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, issued a statement regarding these duties.

    For additional information on the first administrative review final results, please consult the Frequently Asked Questions section of this website.

  • 28-09-2020 – Statement by the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade on U.S. appeal of WTO panel report regarding U.S. countervailing duties on Canadian softwood lumber

    On September 28, 2020, the United States appealed the August 2020 WTO panel report on Canada’s challenge of U.S. countervailing duties on softwood lumber.

    The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, issued a statement regarding the U.S. decision to appeal.

    Canada also delivered remarks on the panel report and the U.S. decision to appeal at the WTO Dispute Settlement Body meeting on September 28th.

  • 24-08-2020 – Statement by the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade on WTO panel report regarding U.S. countervailing duties on Canadian softwood lumber

    On August 24, 2020, the WTO Panel ruling on Canada’s challenge of U.S. countervailing duties on softwood lumber released its final report. Canada welcomes the Panel’s finding that U.S. countervailing duties on Canadian softwood lumber are inconsistent with the United States’ WTO obligations.

    The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, issued a statement regarding this unanimous WTO ruling.

  • 26-06-2020 – United States Department of Commerce issues instructions to U.S. Customs and Border Protection to stop collecting duties on certain cedar shakes and shingles and to refund collected amounts

    On June 26, 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce published a notice of its revised determination regarding cedar shakes and shingles in the U.S. Federal Register. It also issued instructions to U.S. Customs and Border Protection to cease collection of cash deposits for certain shakes and shingles, and to liquidate and refund cash deposits paid on the relevant past entries.

    For additional information on cedar shakes and shingles, please consult the Frequently asked questions section of this website.

  • 22-05-2020 – NAFTA Chapter 19 Panel upholds United States International Trade Commission decision

    On May 22, the NAFTA Chapter 19 Injury Panel issued its ruling on Canada’s challenge of the U.S. International Trade Commission’s (ITC) determination on remand and affirmed the ITC’s decision that imports of Canadian softwood lumber products materially injured U.S. domestic industry.

  • 20-04-2020 – United States Court of International Trade upholds United States Department of Commerce’s decision that Canadian cedar shakes and shingles are outside the scope of the U.S. softwood lumber duty orders

    On April 20, 2020, the U.S. Court of International Trade sustained the remand determination issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce to exclude cedar shakes and shingles from the U.S. softwood lumber countervailing and anti-dumping duty orders.

    The U.S. Department of Commerce is now required to publish a notice of its revised determination and publish instructions to U.S. Customs and Border Protection to cease the collection of duties on imports of Canadian cedar shakes and shingles.

More recent developments