WTO rules on American/Canadian lumber fight

Joe Zorzin abc at xyz.hgmp.mrc.ac.uk
Wed Apr 14 16:07:01 EST 2004


This trade dispute is nothing more than a welfare check to American sawmills
who have failed to compete- having wasted most of their own forests and much
of the American public forestland. Anyone who buys wood in America has thus
been screwed- and many private forest owners in the northern USA area have
done well as the Canadians have built up their industry by selling their
stumpage to the Canadians- now they'll get less- and as they get less, their
consulting foresters get less. So, everybody loses but the American
sawmills.

"Larry Harrell" <lhfotoware at hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:7a90c754.0404140825.27ca544d at posting.google.com...
> April 14, 2004  Los Angeles Times
> Split Trade Ruling on Wood
> The WTO backs U.S. anti-dumping duties on Canadian lumber but says
> they must be calculated differently.
> From Reuters
>
>
> The World Trade Organization on Tuesday rejected almost all of
> Canada's complaints against U.S. anti-dumping duties on its
> multibillion-dollar softwood business, but Washington did not escape
> all censure.
>
> The ruling, the latest in a series in the long-running row, declared
> that the United States was within its rights to impose anti-dumping
> duties on imports of Canadian lumber.
>
> But the WTO trade panel backed Canada on one important point, which
> will force Washington to review how it calculates the price of imports
> and hence the amount of duty it can apply.
>
> The U.S. Trade Representative's office in Washington called the WTO
> decision "an important victory for the United States." Spokesman
> Richard Mills added, "The panel found that in virtually all respects,
> the United States action was consistent with our WTO obligations."
>
> Canadian Minister of International Trade Jim Peterson said of the WTO
> decision, "We are pleased that the WTO ruled in our favor on the key
> issue in the case" and he urged Washington to comply with that part of
> the ruling.
>
> But lumber industries on both sides of the border are anxiously
> awaiting a separate decision &#8212; by a North American Free Trade
> Agreement panel on April 30. That panel has been asked to decide
> whether the U.S. industry is threatened with injury as a result of
> Canadian wood exports.
>
> A negative finding would bring an end to all U.S. duties.
>
> The WTO decision, its final word on this particular aspect of the
> lumber dispute, covered anti-dumping duties imposed in 2001. They
> initially averaged 9.67%, but were subsequently cut to 8.38%.
>
> However, when combined with separate countervailing duties on Canadian
> softwood, U.S. levies total more than 20% on annual shipments of about
> $6 billion of spruce, pine, fir and other wood used to build and
> remodel houses.
>
> The two countries have been trying unsuccessfully for years to reach a
> deal that could replace the duties with a quota on Canadian wood for a
> limited time.
>
> Washington says that the duties are needed to compensate for Canadian
> state aid. Canada denies there is any subsidy and asked the WTO to
> declare the U.S. duties a violation of international trade laws.
>
> Though the WTO panel threw out most of Canada's case, it found that
> Washington had erred by not including more highly priced Canadian
> lumber when deciding whether there was dumping &#8212; the selling of
> goods below the price an exporter could get in its home market.
>
> Comment by poster: It's funny what money can do to friends. Global
> trade can be a nasty business. As a side note, I'm hoping that the
> Forest Service will consider a temporary waiver on the export of raw
> logs from the San Bernardino National Forest (and other LA area
> National Forests), if (and only if), the price is right.
>
> Larry,     eco-forestry technician





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