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NAFTA Panel Issues Split Ruling On ITC Softwood Lumber Decision

NAFTA Panel Issues Split Ruling On ITC Softwood Lumber Decision

A NAFTA binational antidumping and countervailing duty dispute panel on Sept. 4 issued a decision upholding the U.S. International Trade Commission's (ITC's) finding that imports of softwood lumber from Canada are causing adverse impact to U.S. industry, according to a Sept. 5 note from the NAFTA Secretariat.

"The panel found that the commission's finding of adverse impact is lawful and supported by substantial evidence in light of its determinations regarding post-petition data, substitutability, volume, price effects and the business cycle, which have been remanded elsewhere in this decision," the note says.

The ITC on Dec. 7, 2017, issued affirmative AD and CV duty final injury determinations regarding imports of softwood from Canada, and the U.S. Commerce Department in January announced AD duty rates ranging from 3.2% to 7.3%, and CV duty rates ranging from 3.3% to 18%.

The binational NAFTA panel also remanded, in part, the ITC's December final determination.

The panel remanded the ITC's decision to reduce the weight it accorded to interim 2017 data and directed the commission to provide a reasoned determination on whether to reduce the weight it accorded to the interim data.

Further, the NAFTA panel directed the ITC to reconsider its conclusion that prices of different species closely track one another to "to take into consideration that price movements of one species ‘affect' prices of other species, the existence of a ‘great difference in price movement' of one species compared to another and that prices for different species ‘generally track' each other, as well as any other record evidence, and to determine what effect such reconsideration has on its price suppression analysis," the NAFTA Secretariat said.

Additionally, the NAFTA panel remanded to the ITC the commission's determination on the cost of goods sold and pricing trends analysis to take into account the commission's finding that subject imports and domestic products are at least moderately substitutable and determine what effect such reconsideration has on its finding that such imports prevented price increases that otherwise would have occurred to a significant degree.

The panel remanded several other aspects of the ITC's final determination, described in the NAFTA Secretariat note.

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