(a) to initiate an anti-dumping or compensatory investigation under Title VII of the Customs Act of 1930, as amended, or a successor act (“Title VII”) with respect to imports of softwood products from Canada. When a Title VII petition concerning Softwood Lumber Products` imports from Canada is filed, the United States rejects the application on the basis of the irrevocable letters in Schedule 5A (“no violation” and the USDOC`s finding in Schedule 5B. These letters are provided by U.S. stakeholders, who account for more than 60% of U.S. conifer wood production in 2005, and by one or more unions. The letters from industry associations apply to the production of their members, but members who produce coniferous timber more than 200 million board feet in 2005 must submit a damage letter individually, which will be charged on the 60% threshold of U.S. production. Signed claims letters are attached to ALS 2006 on the reference date; On April 15, 2005, Canadian Trade Minister Jim Peterson announced that the federal government would provide $20 million to Canadian conifer timber associations to offset their legal costs related to the litigation with the United States. In the same year, another NAFTA Chapter 19 body reviewed the USITC`s conclusion that the U.S. lumber industry is threatened by Canadian imports. Since the United States ceded jurisdiction to the World Trade Organization, the U.S. government had to find that a domestic industry had been harmed or threatened to be violated before countervailing duties could be imposed. The NAFTA committee found that the USITC`s determination was null and void.
In addition, the group made the controversial decision to deny the USITC the reopening of the administrative protocol and ordered the USITC to issue a negative provision based on the existing data set. Unlike during the lumber III phase, the decision of this body was unanimous. However, the U.S. government challenged its decision before an extraordinary challenge committee which, on August 10, 2005, unanimously decided against the United States and found that the determination of the NAFTA body was not valid enough to require deportation or remand under NAFTA standards. Q: Is negotiation of a new Softwood Lumber agreement still possible? A: Yes. Whether customs investigations are still ongoing or whether final duties have been reviewed, both countries can still negotiate an agreement if both sides consider it in their best interest. The last ALS was signed in 2006, five years after the CVD/AD tariff review on Canadian timber transportation to the United States. In March 2006, a NAFTA board ruled in Canada`s favour and found that funding for the Canadian wood industry was de minimis, i.e. a subsidy of less than one per cent.
Under U.S. trade law, no countervailing duties are instituted for de minimis subsidies. In July 2006, an interim agreement was reached in which Canada received $4 billion of the $5.3 billion it lost due to additional duty-free penalties. After the initial opposition of several major Canadian wood groups, the Harper government, without specifying the number of businesses it supported, was convinced that there would be enough support to culminate in the agreement. In August 2006, Prime Minister Stephen Harper launched the new agreement for discussion and a possible vote of confidence in Parliament. If the House of Commons had voted against the agreement, it would have automatically imposed a general election and cancelled the agreement.