WTO approves pricing methodology favored by U.S. lumber producers

Posted at 3:20 PM, Apr 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-09 20:42:04-04

HELENA – U.S. lumber producers welcomed a decision this week by the World Trade Organization which validates the United States’ practice of Differential Pricing Methodology with regard to softwood lumber products.

The decision is the latest development in an ongoing dispute between Canada and the United States, whereby the United States believes Canada unfairly subsidizes its softwood lumber products.

Tuesday’s ruling stems from a complaint by Canada regarding the U.S. Department of Commerce’s use of anti-dumping measures applying the Differential Pricing Methodology. The methodology is used to offset what U.S. sawmills see as Canada unfairly dumping low-cost lumber into the U.S. market.

“We thank the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Department of Commerce for their strong and successful defense of the trade laws before the WTO,” Jason Brochu, U.S. Lumber Coalition Co-Chair, said in news release.

In 2017, President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on Canadian lumber companies after an agreement between the United States and Canada expired in 2015.

Without those tariffs, some Montana lumber mills had expressed concerns about cheap, Canadian lumber flooding the U.S. market.

Canada still has a chance to appeal the panel’s decision.