WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Lumber Coalition said it welcomes a letter from 41 United States House Representatives supporting efforts to negotiate a new Softwood Lumber Agreement.
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 letter, co-sponsored by Reps. DeFazio (D-OR) and Zinke (R-MT), says that border measures against what the politicians see as subsidized lumber imports are critical for the U.S. lumber industry, claiming Canadian timber is heavily subsidized and sold or contracted at pennies on the dollar compared to U.S. timber of comparable quality.
The trade group says Canadian trade practices will increase market share for Canadian producers.
The letter from the Congressmen says any new agreement should maintain Canadian exports at or below an agreed U.S. market share, as the U.S. and Canadian governments have both already agreed.
The letter also expresses the Representative's sense that the U.S. industry is unlikely to voluntarily give up its rights under current U.S. trade laws in return for an agreement that fails to meet this objective, and that short of an effective agreement, the U.S. industry may file petitions for relief to offset the inequitable advantages provided to its Canadian counterpart by government subsidies.
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