WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Lumber Coalition welcomes President Obama’s statement during the State of the Union address in which he underlined the Administration’s continued strong commitment to trade enforcement.
President Obama stated that he would “not stand by when our competitors don’t play by the rules,” further explaining that “[i]t’s not fair when foreign manufacturers have a leg up on ours only because they’re heavily subsidized.”
Steve Swanson, Chairman of the Coalition and President of the family-run Swanson Group in Oregon, applauded the President’s statements on trade enforcement. “The U.S. lumber industry proves every day that what President Obama said is true – that America’s hardworking men and women are among the most productive on the planet,” said Swanson, “the U.S. lumber industry can compete against any foreign industry on a level playing field.”
“But we cannot compete against massive foreign subsidies that are distorting open and competitive markets,” continued Swanson, referencing Canada's unfair lumber subsidies that for decades have harmed the U.S. lumber industry, threatening its workers with mounting unemployment, and denying many tree farmers a market for their timber crops.
Concluded Swanson, “the U.S. Lumber Coalition is pleased to see that the Administration is renewing its commitment to take action if and when our trading partners engage in unfair practices that injure our businesses and workers. We look forward to continue working closely with the U.S. government to ensure that our trading partners play by the rules to allow for a fair competitive playing field for U.S. sawmills, mill workers and timberland owners across the United States.”
Source: U.S. Lumber Coalition
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