WASHINGTON, Nov. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Coalition for Fair
Lumber Imports today criticized the intensified log export restraints
announced by the British Columbia (BC) government on Monday as the latest
breach of the Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA). The cumulative effect of the
numerous Canadian SLA violations is causing more layoffs and sawmill shutdowns
than would otherwise have occurred in the current difficult market
Coalition Chairman Steve Swanson stated that "the new log export
restraints will reduce BC lumber producers' manufacturing costs to offset SLA
lumber export taxes. As with the multitude of other new subsidies announced
by Canadian governments, the new BC measures circumvent the Softwood Lumber
Agreement. The terms and spirit of the Agreement expressly forbids Canada
from implementing measures that circumvent the agreed-upon border measures put
in place under this pact. The U.S. industry cannot tolerate Canada's
unrelenting attempts to circumvent the Agreement. Especially not as we
curtail production and lay off workers."
The purpose and effect of BC log export restrictions have long been to
reduce BC lumber producers' log and timber costs by artificially restricting
demand for logs. The U.S. Commerce Department has confirmed that this is a
subsidy. BC has announced that it will increase taxes on logs "to strengthen
the [BC] Coastal forest sector."
British Columbia is brazenly instituting a log export tax that will be
higher when SLA lumber export tax levels are higher. This means that it is
reducing lumber producers' log and timber costs precisely when they need more
money to pay SLA export taxes. Lower log prices will result in lower
government timber fees because timber fee rates are tied to log prices.
Mr. Swanson concluded by stating that "the United States entered into the
Agreement last year because Canada committed to implement border measures that
would help offset Canada's unfair softwood lumber trade practices. Canada is
increasing subsidies to nullify those border measures -- just what it agreed
not to do. Apart from violating the Agreement, Canada is artificially
promoting production and exports that exacerbate and prolong the current
difficult market conditions. We will not stand for it."
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 of the Coalition for Fair
Lumber Imports, +1-202-862-3686 Web Site: http://www.fairlumbercoalition.org