Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 47

Commerce must first determine that a U.S. industry has been materially injured, or is threatened with material injury, by artificially lowpriced imports. If so, then Commerce must calculate the appropriate
duty, based on long-established formulae that take into account the
U.S. sales and total sales of each company being investigated.
In the current case, five companies were investigated, and duties
ranging from 3 percent to 24 percent were calculated. The duty for
all other companies, 19.88 percent, was calculated as an average
of the five investigated companies. It is all documented and done
according to clear rules, because, among other things, it will probably have to be defended in court.
As of this writing, the preliminary determination of the AD
case was delayed until June 23. Final determinations of both cases
were aligned, scheduled to be announced together on Sept. 6, 2017
(unless they are delayed again).
These developments have been announced by the Trump administration and portrayed by the news media as though they were part
of its "get tough" stance on trade, but they are better understood
with a little historical context. The entire sequence of events was
initiated before the Trump administration began, and has followed long-established methods. The determination that the U.S.
industry was injured or is threatened with injury was made on
Jan. 6, 2017, during the Obama administration, and the findings
made throughout the decision are similar to findings made under
previous administrations going back to the 80s.

WHAT IT MEANS FOR FENCE CONTRACTORS
The scope of duties (which specific lumber products are taxed)
in the preliminary determination is very broad and includes fence
pickets. Historically, that list gets whittled down by exceptions
that are added to the final determination. The duties usually focus
on the softwood species used for most construction, spruce, pine
and fir (S-P-F). Cedar fence pickets and other products made from
more expensive softwood species may be excluded when the final
determination is issued this fall. During the period before the final
determination, Commerce solicits comments, including exclusions
that should be made to the duties. For more information, please
visit www.commerce.gov.
Until the final determination, however, the duties are in place and
include all softwood fence building lumber so the price of softwood
fencing in the U.S. can be expected to be high. Some observers
believe that the high lumber prices seen since the beginning of the
year are the result of the expectation of duties, and the price-rise
has already happened.

"Canada has put forward a number of reasonable proposals to the
current U.S. administration that is responsive to views expressed by
U.S. industry. These proposals ensure security of supply at fair prices
to U.S. consumers and U.S. companies that rely on Canadian imports.
"We remain confident that a negotiated settlement is not only
possible but in the best interests of both countries."
Negotiations are complicated because there are more than
two sides to the case. In Canada, historically, there has been
disagreement between the provinces on how to approach the
dispute. Generally, the Western provinces and especially British
Columbia have favored making a deal. The Eastern provinces
have often advocated fighting import duties through lawsuits,
which includes going through NAFTA and the World Trade
Organization (WTO).
In the U.S., the position of the lumber industry (that prices for
Canadian lumber should be higher) has pitted them against lumber
distributors and home builders, who would prefer lower overall lumber prices. While lumber producers have political influence in lumber-producing states, home builders have political
influence everywhere.
As far as fence contractors are concerned, negotiated deals of
the past have contained exclusions for more specialized lumber
products such as dog ear and S4S cedar fence boards.
Watch for the Sept. 6 final announcement on both cases. That has
the potential to trigger moves toward negotiations. Keep watching
the news. ■

BEAR BOARD

FENCE BOARD
FENCE
BOARD

WHAT TO EXPECT NEXT
Historically, the imposition of import duties is not where the
matter ends... it's where it begins. Some observers see duties as
mainly an inducement for Canada to start negotiations for a new
agreement, which would supersede the import duties. Whether or
not negotiations begin depends partially on the preliminary determination in the AD case. If it is large, Canada will have a strong
inducement to negotiate a deal. If the AD duties are small, the CVD
of 19.88 percent may not be a big incentive.
The official position of the Canadian government appears to be
that they would like an agreement. The April 24 statement by the
two ministers concluded,

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www.americanfenceassociation.com
| 47 | July/August
2017
846186_Engineered.indd
1

Visit bearboardlumber.com
or call 800-480-2327

BEAR BOARD
ENGINEERED PLASTIC SYSTEMS, LLC

885 Church Road, Elgin, IL 60123

03/12/16 2:39 AM


http://epsplasticlumber.com/ http://www.commerce.gov http://www.bearboardlumber.com http://www.americanfenceassociation.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fencepost - July/August 2017

Editor’s Note
Executive Director’s Message
President’s Message
Board of Directors | Board of Governors
Setting Yourself Apart From the Competition
VMA
Cutting Fuel Costs With Fleet Tracking
Blue Ribbon Companies
The Right Gate for the Job
CLFMI
New Technologies Provide Global Reach for Access Systems
New Members
All About I-9s
Calendar
Good Fences and Good Neighbors
Minding Your Business
Fencesense
Index to Advertisers
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - Intro
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - cover1
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - cover2
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 3
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 4
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 5
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 6
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 7
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 8
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 9
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 10
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 11
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 12
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - Editor’s Note
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 14
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - Executive Director’s Message
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 16
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - President’s Message
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 18
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - Board of Directors | Board of Governors
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - Setting Yourself Apart From the Competition
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 21
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 22
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 23
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 24
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - VMA
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - Cutting Fuel Costs With Fleet Tracking
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 27
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 28
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - Blue Ribbon Companies
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - The Right Gate for the Job
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 31
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 32
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - CLFMI
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 34
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - New Technologies Provide Global Reach for Access Systems
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 36
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - New Members
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 38
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - All About I-9s
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 40
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 41
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 42
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - Calendar
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - Good Fences and Good Neighbors
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 45
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 46
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 47
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 48
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - Minding Your Business
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 50
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - Fencesense
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 52
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 53
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 54
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 55
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 56
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - 57
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - Index to Advertisers
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - cover3
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - cover4
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - outsert1
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - outsert2
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - outsert3
Fencepost - July/August 2017 - outsert4
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