The U.S. Department of Commerce has issued its final determination on the softwood lumber duties Canadian producers will pay.

The department says most Canadian producers will pay a combined countervailing and anti-dumping rate of 20.83 percent, down from 26.75 percent in the preliminary determinations issued earlier this year.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says Thursday the decision "defends American workers and businesses from unfair trade practices."

The department determined that exporters from Canada have sold softwood lumber at less than fair value and that Canada is providing unfair subsidies to its producers.

The United States and Canada typically enjoy a friendly trade relationship, but spats have unfolded amid the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.