WASHINGTON, April 1 /CNW Telbec/ - The Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports
expressed deep disappointment with Canada's attempt to avoid complying with a
London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) remedy decision regarding
On February 26, 2009, an LCIA tribunal ruled that Canada must remedy its
overshipments of lumber to the United States in violation of the U.S. - Canada
Softwood Lumber Agreement. The tribunal further determined that an appropriate
adjustment to compensate for the breach would be imposition of an additional
10% tax on exports from Ontario, Quebec, and other provinces until a total of
$68.26 million has been collected. The SLA authorizes Canada to "cure" the
violation by other means that provide at least the same economic benefit to
the U.S. lumber industry.
On March 31, three days after the deadline for it to implement a remedy,
Canada announced that it had "cured" its breach merely by offering to pay a
lesser amount to the U.S. government, thereby disregarding the clear directive
of the LCIA tribunal. Canada also announced that it is seeking review of its
action by the tribunal, something that likewise is not permitted by the SLA.
Steve Swanson, Chairman of the Coalition, stated that he is "shocked and
appalled by Canada's provocative and contemptuous decision to ignore the
tribunal's clear direction." "Unfortunately this latest flouting of its
obligations under the softwood lumber agreement is consistent with Canada's
approach to this trade agreement," said Mr. Swanson.
"Canada's refusal to accept the finality of the LCIA decision is
disappointing. With this approach of non-compliance with the LCIA decision,
Canada is simply proposing an additional subsidy for its industry - more
unfair practices to preserve its less competitive companies at the expense of
U.S. sawmills and workers," said Mr. Swanson.
"All that the U.S. industry and workers have ever asked for is that
Canada live up to its commitments under the Softwood Lumber Agreement," said
Swanson. "The Canadian government is playing games of smoke and mirrors and
trying to cover its contempt for the final LCIA award in a cloak of alleged
conformity," Swanson said, "but the clear meaning of the award - that it must
have a trade impact - does not support Canada's unilateral action in any way."
"The LCIA and the SLA give the USA the right to impose the remedy tax on
imports from Option B provinces," Swanson explained, "and the Coalition
strongly urges the U.S. government to do so. Canada has forced a U.S. remedy,
which is fully consistent with U.S. obligations and mandated by U.S. policy
requiring trade agreement enforcement."
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.fairlumbercoalition.org.
For further information:
For further information: Zoltan van Heyningen, (202) 582-0021,