Until Canada and the U.S. reach a negotiated solution on softwood lumber, the nation will continue to "vigorously apply" the anti-dumping and countervailing duties to "stand up for American companies and their workers", U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in a statement.
"We applaud the Department of Commerce's decision to take further action against Canada's unfair trading practices and restore fair trade for U.S. lumber producers, ' said U.S. Lumber Coalition spokesperson, Zoltan van Heyningen".
When combined with preliminary anti-subsidy duties issued in April, the new measures will bring total duties on Canadian lumber to between 17.41 percent and 30.88 percent.
Canada has denied that it subsidizes the lumber industry because producers must pay market prices for wood.
"The homebuilders definitely care but for the most part have believed that these costs will be passed along to the end users - in this case, the home buyers", Miller said.
The U.S. Department of Commerce said in its preliminary determination that it calculated that Canfor is selling product in the U.S.at 7.72% less than fair value, Resolute FP Canada Inc.at 4.59%, Tolko Industries Ltd.at 7.53% and West Fraser at 6.76%.
"We will vigorously defend Canada's softwood lumber industry, including through litigation, and we expect to prevail as we have in the past". The U.S. Department of Commerce announcement on the rates can be found here.
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The 20 closings bring the company's total so far this year to 236, or roughly 17% of the stores it had in January. A Kmart in York County will close in the near future, according to a report.
Analyst Paul Quinn of RBC Capital Markets believes the USA will play hardball and impose high anti-dumping rates in order to push Canada to agree to a deal before negotiations on NAFTA begin in August. Even so, the US still represents about 50 per cent of B.C. lumber exports, with 30 per cent going to Asia.
Koopman Lumber in MA also buys about 80 percent of its lumber from Canada and experienced price increases on Canadian lumber initially.
She reinforced again, as she did after countervailing duties were imposed in April, that the USA produced 32 billion board feet of lumber in 2016, well below the 47 billion board feet it consumed. Lumber futures in Chicago have jumped this year amid concerns that the trade battle will disrupt supplies. The alternative is to be subject to US legal processes created to favour a few select timber barons.
This comes after the US added tariffs to the industry back in April.
Lumber prices have increased over the past year in anticipation of duties being placed on Canadian softwood lumber imports into the U.S. The Random Lengths Framing Lumber Composite price is now $397 per thousand board feet, an increase of 14 percent over the past year.
The battle takes on an added significance this year, as the two countries - along with Mexico - are also renegotiating the 23-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement.