The Globe and Mail reports in its Thursday edition that Canadian softwood producers may soon reap large refunds after paying deposits totalling $6.1-billion (U.S.) in U.S. lumber tariffs over the past six years. The Globe's Brent Jang writes that the U.S. Department of Commerce decided this week to maintain the policy of imposing tariffs on Canadian lumber shipments south of the border. Duty rates are set to rise this summer for Canada's two largest lumber companies -- West Fraser Timber and Canfor -- while most other Canadian producers will see a modest decline in their tariffs. After adding interest to duties already held by the U.S. government, the accumulated tariffs paid by Canadian producers since 2017 are now valued at $6.5-billion (U.S.). The protracted battle, however, has resulted in decreased market share in the United States in recent years, exacerbated by constraints in timber supplies in British Columbia. Forest Economic Advisors estimates that U.S. producers as a whole accounted for 68 per cent of their own country's domestic consumption of lumber last year. Canada's share of U.S. lumber consumption has been steadily eroded, falling to 26 per cent last year, compared with nearly 33 per cent in 2016.
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