Canadian Softwood Lumber Tariffs to Be Lowered

The Commerce Department made a preliminary determination to lower softwood lumber import tariffs from Canada from the current rate of 17.9 percent to 11.64 percent. The rate is set to take effect by August of 2022.

In November of 2021, the tariff rate was doubled to 17.9 percent. Although it is difficult to quantify the impact of these tariffs on lumber prices, the price of lumber rose by 50 percent since the tariff rate doubled. Any increase in the rate can adversely impact the construction industry, as Canadian imports make up nearly 30 percent of total U.S. consumption of softwood lumber.

The U.S. and Canada have been fighting over softwood lumber for decades. Every Administration since the Reagan Administration has concluded that Canadian lumber is unfairly subsidized and would compete unfairly against U.S. lumber. These rules are subject to an annual review and thus the tariff rates for softwood lumber are subject to change.

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