THUNDER BAY – BUSINESS – The U.S. Lumber Coalition today welcomes a letter from 24 United States Senators expressing appreciation for the Administration’s efforts to obtain a new softwood lumber trade agreement with Canada designed to fully and effectively address the market effects of subsidized Canadian lumber exported to the United States.
The letter, co-sponsored by Sens. Wyden (D-OR) and Crapo (R-ID), supports the commitment made by President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau in their June Joint Statement to seek a new agreement with “an appropriate structure, designed to maintain Canadian exports at or below an agreed U.S. market share to be negotiated.”
The Senators express concern that since President Obama and Prime Minister Trudeau announced this shared goal the Canadian government has been unwilling to put forth or seriously consider frameworks consistent with that statement, whereas the U.S. government has submitted detailed frameworks to the Canadian government that would establish an agreement consistent with the terms of the Joint Statement.
The Senators urge President Obama to encourage Canada to fulfill Prime Minister Trudeau’s commitment as contained in the Joint Statement and bring the negotiations process to successful conclusion with a new, stable, and sustainable agreement. The Senators make clear that only this type of agreement will allow U.S. lumber mills the opportunity to compete fairly in their own market and to make the investments necessary to grow the domestic industry to its natural levels of production and employment.
The letter highlights that the U.S.–Canada softwood lumber trade issue is foremost a jobs and fairness issue and that hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs and thousands of U.S. rural communities depend on fairness in trade in softwood lumber. The letter closes by the Senators stating they will continue to urge President Obama, and any future Administration, to seek a fair, effective, and sustainable agreement with Canada on softwood lumber trade, and in the absence of such an agreement, to fully enforce U.S. trade laws.
About the U.S. Lumber Coalition
The U.S. Lumber Coalition 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 the gross under-pricing of timber on government-owned lands. For more information, please visit the Coalition’s website at www.uslumbercoalition.org.