WASHINGTON, Sept. 28 /CNW Telbec/ - The U.S. Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports today welcomes a London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) ruling that measures imposed by the United States to address violations by Canada of the U.S.-Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA) are appropriate and justified.
The Coalition commends the entire U.S. government team, whose hard work made this successful outcome possible.
Canada in April failed to implement a remedy prescribed by the LCIA tribunal for Ontario and Quebec lumber producers' 2007 shipments of lumber to the U.S. in excess of their quota levels under the SLA. As a result, the United States exercised its rights under the agreement to impose the remedy in Canada's stead, and is collecting an additional 10% import tax on lumber imports from Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan until C$68 million is collected. That is the amount prescribed by the LCIA tribunal.
"The Coalition is pleased that the LCIA panel soundly rejected Canada's argument that it had cured its breach of the SLA by offering a one-time Canadian government payment to the U.S. government," said Steve Swanson, chairman of the Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports and president of the family-run Swanson Group in Oregon. "This would only have resulted in further subsidization of the Canadian lumber industry," added Swanson.
"Unfortunately, Canadian provincial governments appear once again to have given in to demands for more unfair subsidies," continued Swanson. "The most troubling current subsidy is British Columbia's SLA-inconsistent reductions of the prices that its lumber producers pay for government timber used to produce lumber."
"Prompt and effective enforcement of the SLA to address Canada's violations of the agreement is critical to the recovery of the American forestry industry. Until this happens, U.S. jobs will continue to be lost to Canadian trade agreement violations," concluded Swanson.
About the Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports
The U.S. Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports is an alliance of large and small lumber producers from around the country, joined by hundreds of thousands of their employees, and tens of thousands of woodland owners. The Coalition is united in opposition to Canada's unfair lumber-trade practices, including its gross under-pricing of timber. For more information, please visit the Coalition's website at www.uslumbercoalition.org.
SOURCE COALITION FOR FAIR LUMBER IMPORTS
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