[Homestead] Homebuilders nightmare, Big Timber dream

Tvoivozhd tvoivozd at infionline.net
Wed Sep 1 21:41:20 EDT 2004

For Bush, turning National Forests over to State thieves isn't 
enough---has to sweeten the pot for Big Timber by a 27.5 percent import 
duty on Canadian lumber---adding $2000 to the cost of building each 
house in the U.S..  Isn't he wonderful, so compassionate it makes want 
to throw up.

    NAFTA Rules Against U.S. Lumber Subsidies

By Leslie Miller
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - For the third time, a North American Free Trade 
Agreement panel has ruled that the United States failed to prove its 
softwood lumber industry is harmed by Canadian imports.

In the decision late Tuesday, the five-member NAFTA panel directed the 
U.S. International Trade Commission to rescind its justification for the 
average 27.2 percent tariffs on Canadian lumber since May 2002.

The panel said the ITC had presented no new evidence to support earlier 
rejected evidence that Canadian imports harmed U.S. producers. The 
commission "is simply unwilling to accept this panel's review 
authority," the NAFTA panel said.

The National Association of Home Builders applauded the ruling, calling 
it a victory for American homebuyers squeezed by lumber prices nearing 
record levels. The home builders group called on the Bush administration 
not to appeal the ruling.

Softwood lumber from pine, spruce and fir trees is used to build homes. 
In 2002, the United States imported about a third of its supply - nearly 
$6 billion - from Canada.

That year, the Bush administration slapped stiff duties on softwood 
imports from four Canadian provinces.

The Commerce Department in June proposed cutting the duties, which 
include antidumping and punitive tariffs, to 13.2 percent.

Christopher Padilla, a spokesman for the U.S. Trade Representative, said 
the administration has concerns about the ruling and has not decided how 
to proceed.

"It's in the interest of both the United States and Canada to try to 
reach a permanent solution to the softwood lumber dispute," Padilla said.


On the Net:

International Trade Administration: http://www.ita.doc.gov

Canada Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade: 

AP-ES-09-01-04 1722EDT

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