A trade group has taken its beef with new U.S. duties on Canadian cedar shakes and shingles to the next level and filed a lawsuit at the Court of International Trade.
Duties went up as much as 18 percent earlier this year on shakes and shingles produced in Canada and exported to the U.S. Globeinvestor.com reported in June that Canadian makers of cedar shakes and shingles have been forced to scale back and even close mills as a result of the new tariffs.
The newly formed Shake and Shingle Alliance trade group, which reportedly consists of 12 member companies, had been trying to make the case that the products are thin enough to warrant tariff exemptions.
The U.S. Commerce Dept. ruled in September that isn’t the case.
In the complaint, the group claims cedar shakes and shingles are outside the scope of anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders on Canadian softwood products.
Among other things, the group claims the U.S. Commerce Dept. misinterpreted the duty order’s requirements for thickness. Further, the group argues the shakes and shingles fall within an exception in the duty orders for products that are considered “finished.”
Also in the filings, the alliance notes that the shakes and shingle industry has traditionally been determined to be outside the scope of the rest of the softwood lumber industry and not covered by softwood lumber agreements established in 1996 and 2006 between the U.S. and Canada.
The alliance asks for a court ruling to determine the Commerce Dept.’s actions are not in accordance with law, “unsupported by substantial evidence” and that the department’s actions should be reversed.
As of press time, the case has not been assigned to a judge and the U.S. has not responded.