Farm Bill Included Fair Trade Protections for Timber Industry

by jhwygirl

Right now, you’ll only find news of this in the Canadian and UK press, but tucked away in what is being touted as the veto-proof Farm Bill, passed by both the House and Senate this week, is a late insertion by Senators Baucus, Snowe (R-Maine) and Chambiliss (R-GA) which ensures enforcement of the 2006 U.S.- Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA).

SLA required Canadian exporters of softwood lumber to provide importers with proof that they have paid export taxes on their products. Canadians bemoan that it also includes enforcement measures like company audits, penalties, and fines.

In plain language, the U.S. Importer Declaration Program provision will require the U.S. government to verify compliance with the agreement and impose penalties on importers who knowingly violate trade rules.

It always amazes me that we need laws to enforce laws.

Now, the U.S. has initiated 4 trade actions in international courts against Canada over what we’ve said is subsidized timber. Baucus, on the other hand, has spearheaded actions since at least 2002 to stop this flooding of the U.S. market with cheap Canadian timber. Currently available data indicates that Canada to date has under-collected SLA export taxes by about $50 million.

The Canadian timber industry, on the other hand, is cutting its forests at an unsustainable rate.

~~~~
In other news, Stimson ushers out its last workers from the Bonner mill, all of whom face an uncertain future.

Now, that Missoulian article I link to above overlooks one glaring statement by logging trucker Leroy Christofferson (“It’s for internal reasons that we don’t really know about yet”), by quickly launching into solely market statements – the Missoulian has yet to look into internal causes and reasons such as poor management and a union contract that was set for renewal this year – but even I have to admit that market forces are at play. Any downturn in the housing market, with subsidized Canadian timber in the mix, is going to magnify the effects on the U.S. market.

But Baucus done good. It’s a shame that reform has to be tucked into these funding bills – remember, Baucus had unsuccessfully attempted to remove subsidies for big oil in the stimulus package, while moving that savings in subsidy over to tax credits for alternative energy – but if that’s the way it has to get done, then go ahead and get ‘er done, Max.

Apparently, you got to give a little cash to get a little reform.

Advertisements



    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s


  • Pages

  • Recent Comments

    Miles on A New Shelter for Vets or an E…
    success rate for In… on Thirty years ago ARCO killed A…
    Warrior for the Lord on The Dark Side of Colorado
    Linda Kelley-Miller on The Dark Side of Colorado
    Dan on A New Shelter for Vets or an E…
    Former Prosecutor Se… on Former Chief Deputy County Att…
    JediPeaceFrog on Montana AG Tim Fox and US Rep.…
  • Recent Posts

  • Blog Stats

    • 1,665,850 hits
  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 2,738 other followers

  • May 2008
    S M T W T F S
    « Apr   Jun »
     123
    45678910
    11121314151617
    18192021222324
    25262728293031
  • Categories


%d bloggers like this: