Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports Comments on Public Statements Concerning Softwood Lumber Agreement

    WASHINGTON, April 12 /CNW/ -- The Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports today
urged parties involved with the U.S.-Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA) to
seek to ensure full compliance with the agreement. This, the Coalition
commented, is the key to making the SLA a workable, lasting alternative to
    Recent public statements suggest that the SLA is not durable because it
is overly complicated and U.S. parties are needlessly questioning Canadian
government compliance with the agreement.  The allegation has also been
repeated that disagreements are attributable to a supposed lack of
competitiveness on the part of the U.S. lumber industry.
    Coalition Chairman Steve Swanson stated, "The SLA is a compromise, and we
would have much preferred fully open and competitive Canadian timber markets
as the solution to the unfair trade problem.  But the SLA can and should be an
enduring solution if its requirements are observed.  The Canadian government
presently is not applying export measures as required by the agreement, and
provinces are providing forbidden subsidies.  It is imperative that these
issues be resolved quickly, and we support ongoing efforts to resolve them."
    Swanson continued, "Independent studies confirm that U.S. sawmills are
among the most efficient in the world.  All that we have ever requested is a
level playing field.  Open and competitive Canadian timber markets would
provide that.  It is disappointing to see the competitiveness red herring
repeated again."

    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

For further information:

For further information: Zoltan van Heyningen of the Coalition for Fair 
Lumber Imports, +1-202-862-3686 Web Site:

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