Are Commerce actions showing Trump’s hand on trade deals?

Recent trade case announcements by the US Department of Commerce may offer clues as to how the Trump administration will handle the Section 232 investigation, which is looking into steel imports’ impact on national security. Take the ongoing antidumping and countervailing duty investigation into Canadian softwood lumber launched by Commerce on December 16, 2016. At the time of the announcement, the petitioners alleged dumping margins of roughly 20%-53% on Canadian lumber imports. Imports from Canada spiked last year. The US imported $5.7 billion of Canadian softwood lumber in 2016, up from $4.5 billion in 2015. Then, on June 26, less than two hours before Commerce announced preliminary antidumping margins on Canadian lumber, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said softwood lumber imported from the Atlantic provinces — Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island — would be excluded from the investigations. “The US petitioners and other parties support this determination; it, of course, will be subject to further comment on the record,” Ross said in a statement. “I remain hopeful that a negotiated settlement is both possible and in the best interests of both countries, our forestry workers, producers, and affected communities.” The preliminary margins on softwood lumber were

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Source: CTRM Center

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