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April 12, 2019

WTO delivers mixed ruling in Canada-U.S. lumber dispute

The Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) issued its ruling with respect to a complaint by Canada about U.S. anti-dumping and countervailing measures applied to softwood lumber products from Canada.

The ruling finds the United States did not properly calculate tariffs on imports of softwood lumber from Canada. This would lead to some reduction in duties applied to Canadian lumber, should the WTO ruling be applied as it is.

However, the DSB did not find the U.S. method of “zeroing” to be against WTO rules. This allows the American government to disregard, or put a value of zero, on instances when the export price is higher than the home market price. This allows for the imposition of higher punitive duties.

Both parties have 60 days to appeal the decision.

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