Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports Comments on Split Arbitral Decision Regarding U.S.-Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement



    WASHINGTON, March 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Coalition for Fair
Lumber Imports expressed support for a London Court of International
Arbitration (LCIA) ruling that Canada has violated U.S.-Canada Softwood Lumber
Agreement commitments relating to export quota volumes.  The Coalition
expressed disappointment with a separate ruling relating to export tax levels
applicable to British Columbia and Alberta shipments.

    The tribunal will now decide on an appropriate remedy to cure Canada's
breach, with remedy proceedings expected over the next few months.

    "The Coalition is pleased that the tribunal came to the only correct
determination in this case relating to quota volumes," stated Coalition
Chairman Steve Swanson.  Swanson continued, "The negotiated required tax and
quota limits on shipments are essential to remedy the effects of Canada's
unfair trade practices on U.S. lumber manufacturers, workers and communities. 
The Coalition disagrees with findings that let Canada off the hook regarding
past collections of 'surge mechanism' export taxes.  Canada expressly agreed
to the all the terms of the agreement and should live up to those terms.  That
said, the tribunal's decision regarding the surge mechanism should be helpful
to U.S. producers when markets recover."

    Swanson continued: "these are extraordinarily challenging times for the
lumber industry.  This is due primarily to the downturn in the housing market.
 But on top of this, our industry faces a real problem with Canada's nonmarket
system of, in effect, giving away its natural resources, the trees owned by
the people of Canada, by selling them below market value to prop up Canadian
mills.  So U.S. mills must deal with the diminished housing market plus the
Canadian unfair practices and violations of the agreement that was designed to
offset those unfair practices."

    Underlining the Coalition's resolve to ensure that Canada fully honors
the Softwood Lumber Agreement, Swanson also commented on the second
arbitration proceeding dealing with new subsidies being provided to Ontario
and Quebec lumber manufacturers.

    "By providing new subsidies, Canada is knowingly violating the terms of
its agreement with the United States.  We have the facts on our side and are
confident that the arbitral panel will find in favor of the United States,"
said Swanson.  "We are, however, deeply disappointed that Canada continues to
try to evade its international obligations, thus forcing the United States to
take these steps," 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.  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 http://www.fairlumbercoalition.org.






For further information:

For further information: Zoltan van Heyningen of the Coalition for Fair 
Lumber Imports, +1-202-862-3686, zoltan@4fairlumber.com Web Site:
http://www.fairlumbercoalition.org

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COALITION FOR FAIR LUMBER IMPORTS

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