Global Free Logging Agreement

Karl Davies karl at
Tue Oct 26 08:43:01 EST 1999

WOODCHUCKS INTERNATIONAL are all for it.  See the list of "Advisors"
below.  The rest of us who care about our forests should sign this
letter in opposition ASAP!

For more general information on the WTO, go to and download the PDF file,
Citizen's Guide to the WTO.  Print it out and read it.  The WTO is the
governing body for the New World Order, and it's run by unelected

Karl Davies, Practicing Forester

Northeastern Forestry Reformation List Server

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November 4, 1999
International Day of Education and Action Against the WTOs Assault on Forests


On November 4, 1999, forest protection activists from around the world
will be joining together to let their governments know that they will
not accept the WTOs attack on forests.  Activists will be holding press
conferences, meeting with elected officials, conducting teach-ins and
hitting the streets in protest.

A key activity of the day will be the release of a grass roots sign on
letter to U.S. Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky opposing the
global free logging agreement at the World Trade Organization.

We want 500 signatures on this letter.  We currently have over 200.
Please sign and circulate this letter broadly so that we can show the
Clinton Administration the level of outrage over this attack on
forests.  The letter is attached and can also be viewed on the American
Lands' web page at
To sign, contact Antonia Juhasz at mailto:antonia at or
(202) 547-9230.


The World Trade Organization's (WTO) 135 member countries are meeting in
November to write new international trade and investment agreements.
One of the most contentious agreements is the "global free logging
agreement" being spearheaded by the Clinton Administration.  This
agreement could dramatically impact our ability to protect the world's
remaining forests unless we take action now.

The "global free logging agreement" will lead to forest destruction and
the removal of forest protections by: (1) rapidly eliminating tariffs on
all wood products without putting necessary environmental protections in
place -- this will  increase consumption, production and unsustainable
logging; (2) discussing the elimination of forest protection laws that
the WTO considers "non-tariff trade barriers."  Vital forest protection
laws that could be eliminated include: laws to protect forests from
invasive pests, recycled content requirements for office and news paper,
eco-labeling and "smart wood" laws, and bans on the export of raw logs
and wood chips.


Boise Cascade corporation is a poster child example of U.S.
multinational timber corporations that over-cut their corporate
timberlands and thousands of acres of public forests.  These
multinational timber corporations hope that the "global free logging
agreement" will aid them in their attempts to reduce forest protections
at home while looking for new, cheap sources of wood overseas and ever
increasing markets for their products.  U.S. timber corporations have a
special role in US trade policy through the advisory committee to the
U.S. Trade Representative's office on Lumber and Wood Products.  The
committee encouraged USTR to support the global free logging agreement.
A list of the corporations that sit on the committee is attached.


Time is running out.  We need to educate the media, local and national
elected officials,  friends and neighbors, other activists and
especially the Clinton Administration about the WTOs threat to forests
now so that forests will be off of the agenda in Seattle in November at
the WTO Ministerial meeting.


(1) Before Nov. 4, sign and circulate the letter to U.S. Trade
Representative Barshefsky opposing the FLA (see letter on our web page
at and below). (2) Call your Senators and
urge them to sign Senator Barbara Boxer's letter to President Clinton
opposing the FLA.  Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard toll free at 1-888-
449-3511. (3) Hold a Press Conferences or an Editorial Board Visit. (4)
Conduct a Teach-in  (5) Hold a Demonstration in Front of the Local
Federal Building, a Boise Cascade Facility or any of the corporations on
the USTR advisory committee below, or on Your College or High School
Campus. (6) Get out Local Leaders, Puppets and Banners and Raise
Awareness about the WTOs Threat to Forests.

For a list of Day of Education and Action contacts in your state, more
information, ideas, background material, press releases, etc., Contact
Antonia Juhasz of American Lands at  antonia at or (202)
547-9230 or Matt McGovern-Rowan at Native Forest Network at
mcgov at or (406) 542-7343.


TO SIGN ON: send your name, title (if applicable), organization name (if
applicable)  and address to Antonia Juhasz of American Lands Alliance at
antonia at or call at (202) 547-9230.

The Honorable Charlene Barshefsky
United States Trade Representative
600 Seventeenth Street, NW
Washington, DC  20508

Dear Ambassador Barshefsky:

We oppose the Administration's current position at the World Trade
Organization (WTO) favoring the Global Free Logging Agreement.  The
proposed "Advanced Tariff Liberalization" (ATL)  initiative for the
timber industry, which is part of the "early harvest" agenda for
completion at the  upcoming WTO ministerial meeting in Seattle, carries
highly uncertain and potentially damaging consequences for the
environment.  We ask that the U.S. withdraw its support for this
proposal and conduct a thorough environmental impact analysis based on
the Council on Environmental Quality's (CEQ) regulations for the
National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA).  We urge the
Administration to demonstrate a commitment to conserving forests rather
than continue a trade  policy that treats forests as mere commodities.

Accelerated tariff phase-out for wood products would not correct, and
could very well compound, worldwide forest destruction.  According to
American Forest and Paper Association officials, tariff-free trade will
lead to a three to four percent increase in wood product consumption
world-wide.  Increased consumption may well lead to increased logging,
but the ATL does not include  environmental protection measures.
Current logging practices have decimated the world's forests.  An
increase in such unsustainable practices made possible through the ATL
will hasten the  deforestation of the world's native forests.

The U.S. should also reject any wood products negotiations that threaten
to treat legitimate conservation measures as illegal "non-tariff trade
barriers."  Rather, the Administration should  propose methods to
restrict the WTO's jurisdiction over environmental protection laws.  We
would object to any new trade rules that might provide a basis for
successful WTO dispute challenges against legitimate domestic measures
for protection of the environment and established rights of Indigenous
Peoples, such as regulations to prevent entry of invasive, exotic pests
through wood imports or forest lands set aside under treaties for the
use of Indigenous Peoples.  Similarly, the U.S. should makclear that it
would vigorously oppose any negotiations that could lead to restrictions
on legitimate third-party certification and ecolabeling of wood
products, or otherwise on the consumer's right-to-know about the
environmental conditions under which wood products are logged and

We urge the Administration to suspend its participation in the wood
products negotiation until a  comprehensive analysis of the potential
implications of tariff elimination and reductions of non-tariff barriers
to trade in the wood products sector is completed.  The reference point
for this assessment must be the NEPA mandated procedures and
methodologies, as elaborated through regulations of CEQ.
Thank you for considering our views on this crucial issue.  We hope you
will promptly begin  development of an alternative trade policy for wood
products that demonstrably enhances forest  conservation and sustainable

Sincerely,   currently over 200 organizations and individuals has signed
Industry Sector Advisory Committee for Trade Policy Matters
Lumber and Wood Products (ISAC 10)
United States Trade Representatives Office

American Forest and Paper Association
International Paper Company
Hardwood Plywood Manufacturers Association
Timber & Wood Products Group
National Wood Window And Door Association
Contact Lumber Company
America Plywood Association
Fine Hardwood Veneer Association
David R. Webb Company, Inc.
The Penrod Company
Western Wood Products Association
Weyerhaeuser Company
Southern Forest Products Association
Jeid-Wen, Inc.
States Industries, Inc.
American Lumber Standards Committee
National Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association
North Pacific Lumber Company
North American Wholesale Lumber Association

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