Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports Comments on Softwood Lumber Agreement Anniversary and Impact of Canada's Continued Violations



    WASHINGTON, Oct. 11 /CNW/ -- The Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports today
commented on the status of the U.S.-Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement on the
one-year anniversary of it taking effect.  The U.S. industry continues to
believe that this balanced agreement represents the best alternative to the
resumption of countervailing duty and antidumping duty trade litigation, and
that the agreement can benefit the entire North American lumber industry. 
This however requires that all parties honor their commitments under the
agreement.  Unfortunately, Canada has failed to honor key components of the
agreement by, among other things, not collecting required surge mechanism
export taxes, permitting shipments beyond agreed quota levels, and providing
new SLA-inconsistent subsidies to its industry.
    "It is extremely disappointing that the list of Canadian violations is
extensive only a year after the two trading partners entered into to this
seven-to-nine year accord," said Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports Chairman
Steve Swanson, adding that "Canada's extensive agreement violations have
caused significant harm to U.S. companies, their workers, and communities."
"This pattern of non-compliance with critical parts of the agreement must
stop," said Mr. Swanson.
    Canadian government data indicate that Canada's under-collection of
required export taxes totals at least US$123 million and that Ontario and
Quebec producers have over-shipped their quotas by hundreds of millions of
board feet.  As the required tax and quota limits on shipments are the minimum
necessary to address Canada's unfair trade practices, Canada's agreement
violations severely harm the U.S. lumber industry.  Significant layoffs have
occurred throughout the United States, wages have been reduced, and U.S. mills
are running at severely curtailed production levels or even going out of
business.
    "Full and effective compliance and enforcement of the agreement is
necessary for it to be a lasting alternative to litigation," stated Coalition
Executive Director Zoltan van Heyningen.  "The Coalition remains fully
committed to making the softwood lumber agreement with Canada work.  But
Canada must realize that it is putting the agreement at risk by failing to
comply with its terms.  It is simply wrong for Canada to unilaterally and
without consultation negate the balance of the agreement.  Canada should
immediately reverse course by honoring both the terms and the spirit of this
important agreement," concluded Mr. van Heyningen.
    
    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.  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, +1-202-862-3686, for The 
U.S. Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports Web Site:
http://www.fairlumbercoalition.org

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U.S. COALITION FOR FAIR LUMBER IMPORTS

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