On October 17, 2019, the International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce published in the Federal Register a document [Docket No. ITA-2019-0007] seeking public comment on any subsidies, including stumpage subsidies, provided by certain countries exporting softwood lumber or softwood lumber products to the United States during the period January 1, 2019, through June 30, 2019.
Section 805 of Title VIII of the Tariff Act of 1930 (the Softwood Lumber Act of 2008), mandates that the Secretary of Commerce submits to the appropriate Congressional committees a report every 180 days on any subsidy provided by countries exporting softwood lumber or softwood lumber products to the United States, including stumpage subsidies. Commerce submitted its last subsidy report on July 1, 2019. As part of its newest report, Commerce intends to include a list of subsidy programs identified with sufficient clarity by the public in response to this notice.
Given the large number of countries that export softwood lumber and softwood lumber products to the United States, Commerce is soliciting public comment only on subsidies provided by countries which had exports accounting for at least one percent of total US imports of softwood lumber by quantity, as classified under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) codes 4407.1001, 4407.1100, 4407.1200, 4407.1905, 4407.1906, 4407.1910, during the period January 1, 2019, through June 30, 2019. Official US import data published by the United States International Trade Commission’s DataWeb indicate that four countries (Brazil, Canada, Germany, and Sweden) exported softwood lumber to the United States during that time period in amounts sufficient to account for at least one percent of US imports of softwood lumber products. Commerce intends to rely on similar previous six-month periods to identify the countries subject to future reports on softwood lumber subsidies.