Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports: Quebec Government Loan Guarantee to Softwood Lumber Producer AbitibiBowater Violates Trade Agreement



    WASHINGTON, DC, April 17 /CNW Telbec/ - The U.S. Coalition for Fair
Lumber Imports today expressed deep disappointment regarding Quebec's
announcement that it will provide government loan guarantees in clear
violation of the Softwood Lumber Trade Agreement (SLA). The SLA specifically
prohibits Canadian government authorities, including provincial governments,
from providing "benefits" to companies that produce softwood lumber.
AbitibiBowater is the 4th largest softwood lumber producer in Canada and the
8th largest in the world.
    Steve Swanson, Chairman of the Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports, stated
that "this is unfortunately just the latest example of Canada disregarding its
obligations under the Softwood Lumber Trade Agreement," further explaining
that this development "comes on the heels of Canada blatantly ignoring a
ruling of the London Court of International Arbitration that recently found
Canada in violation of the trade agreement in a separate matter."
    "Quebec admitted in its announcement that it is providing the subsidy to
keep AbitibiBowater's mills operating," said Mr. Swanson, then added "as
scores of U.S. sawmills close and workers lose their jobs, we will not stand
for this type of artificial intervention in the market. It hurts us all."
    Mr. Swanson concluded by stating that "the Coalition will work forcefully
with the U.S. government to address this and other violations of the Softwood
Lumber Trade Agreement as U.S. companies, workers, and their communities
deserve nothing less than having our trade agreements honored and enforced."

    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,
zoltan@4fairlumber.com

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COALITION FOR FAIR LUMBER IMPORTS

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