What do the Softwood Lumber dispute and the US Forest Service have to do with one another? At first glance, very little. However, there could be an unlikely connection. One of the main complaints from the US Forest Industry (Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports) has been that the Canadian Forest Industry had been subsidised with lower-priced logs. The argument was that the available supply and low prices allowed Canadian mills to ship lumber to the US market at a profit while US mills lost money and were harmed.
What does SLA mean? For those of you that haven’t been in the lumber world, it means Softwood Lumber Agreement. This is used to refer to the agreement that the United States and Canada had for 10 years starting in 2006. Essentially it is the agreement between the two nations that regulate the trade of softwood lumber.
This issue it complicated because there are so many different details. Since we have two countries supplying the same market it is important the playing field is level.
Something finally happened. The US government imposed a 20% duty on Canadian softwood lumber imports to the United States. Everyone seems to have an opinion.
For those that think this is something new, it’s not. This dispute has been going on for decades and will continue far into the future. Why, because both nations rely on each other, yet there are enough differences to cause market problems. Let’s keep in mind that we just completed a decade-long (2006 -2016) Softwood Lumber Agreement that included duties and quotas on lumber entering the US marketplace from Canada. Continue reading “North American Softwood Lumber: 20% Duty”