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Subsidy Programs Provided by Countries Exporting Softwood Lumber and Softwood Lumber Products to the United States; Request for Comment

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Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.


The Department of Commerce (Commerce) seeks 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 July 1, 2016, through December 31, 2016.


Comments must be submitted within 30 days after publication of this notice.


See the Submission of Comments section below.

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James Terpstra or Brendan Quinn, Office III, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-3965 or (202) 482-5848, respectively.

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On June 18, 2008, section 805 of Title VIII of the Tariff Act of 1930 (the Softwood Lumber Act of 2008) was enacted into law. Under this provision, the Secretary of Commerce is mandated to submit 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 December 16, 2016. 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.[1]

Request for Comments

Given the large number of countries that export softwood lumber and softwood lumber products to the United States, we are soliciting public comment only on subsidies provided by countries the exports of which accounted for at least one percent of total U.S. imports of softwood lumber by quantity, as classified under Harmonized Tariff Schedule code 4407.1001 (which accounts for the vast majority of imports), during the period July 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016. Official Start Printed Page 20865U.S. import data published by the United States International Trade Commission Tariff and Trade DataWeb indicate that only one country, Canada, exported softwood lumber to the United States during that time period in amounts sufficient to account for at least one percent of U.S. imports of softwood lumber products. We intend to rely on similar previous six-month periods to identify the countries subject to future reports on softwood lumber subsidies. For example, we will rely on U.S. imports of softwood lumber and softwood lumber products during the period January 1, 2017 through June 30, 2017, to select the countries subject to the next report.

Under U.S. trade law, a subsidy exists where an authority: (i) Provides a financial contribution; (ii) provides any form of income or price support within the meaning of Article XVI of the GATT 1994; or (iii) makes a payment to a funding mechanism to provide a financial contribution to a person, or entrusts or directs a private entity to make a financial contribution, if providing the contribution would normally be vested in the government and the practice does not differ in substance from practices normally followed by governments, and a benefit is thereby conferred.[2]

Parties should include in their comments: (1) The country which provided the subsidy; (2) the name of the subsidy program; (3) a brief description (at least 3-4 sentences) of the subsidy program; and (4) the government body or authority that provided the subsidy.

Submission of Comments

Persons wishing to comment should file comments by the date specified above. Comments should only include publicly available information. Commerce will not accept comments accompanied by a request that a part or all of the material be treated confidentially due to business proprietary concerns or for any other reason. Any such comments or materials will be returned to the submitter and will not be considered in Commerce's report. Comments must be filed in electronic Portable Document Format (PDF) submitted on CD-ROM or by email to the email address of the EC Webmaster, below.

The comments received will be made available to the public in PDF on the Enforcement and Compliance Web site at the following address:​sla2008/​sla-index.html. Any questions concerning file formatting, access on the Internet, or other electronic filing issues should be addressed to Laura Merchant, Enforcement and Compliance Webmaster, at (202) 482-0367, email address:

All comments and submissions in response to this Request for Comment should be received by Commerce no later than 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on the above-referenced deadline date.

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Dated: April 28, 2017.

Gary Taverman,

Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.

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1.  On April 24, 2017, the Department issued its preliminary determination in the on-going countervailing duty investigation involving Certain Softwood Lumber Products from Canada. See Certain Softwood Lumber Products From Canada: Preliminary Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination, and Alignment of Final Determination With Final Antidumping Duty Determination, 82 FR 19657 (April 28, 2017).

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2.  See section 771(5)(B) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended.

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[FR Doc. 2017-08956 Filed 5-3-17; 8:45 am]