US Senators Support Coalition, Urge Quotas in New SLA
Originally published by: KMMS-AM (Bozeman, MT) — July 19, 2016
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Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines are continuing their efforts to increase timber production in Montana and ensure local lumber mills are being treated fairly.
In a letter to U.S. Trade Ambassador Michael Froman, Tester and Daines are pushing for a new deal to include volume restrictions, which will provide a competitive market for American lumber.
“A strong lumber industry is essential to the U.S. economy, and securing fair trade in lumber is of critical importance to domestic lumber manufacturers and their workers,” Tester and Daines said. “Subsidized and unfairly traded lumber imports continue to severely harm United States mills, workers and communities.”
Tester and Daines also called on Ambassador Froman to take current market conditions into account when negotiating the new Softwood Lumber Agreement.
The previous Softwood Lumber Agreement expired last October.
In response to the letter from Senators Tester and Daines, the U.S. Lumber Coalition issued the following press release:
“The U.S. Lumber Coalition applauds today's letter from 25 United States Senators commending United States Trade Representative Froman and his team for the ongoing efforts to negotiate an effective, sustainable solution to the longstanding challenge presented by unfairly traded softwood lumber from Canada.
The letter co-sponsored by Sens. Wyden (D-OR) and Crapo (R-ID) welcomes the outcome of the most recent discussions between Canada and the United States, and specifically the recognition that any new agreement be designed to maintain Canadian exports at or below an agreed U.S. market share.
The Senate letter underlines that a strong lumber industry is essential to the U.S. economy, and securing fair trade in lumber is of critical importance to domestic lumber manufacturers and their workers, as well as tree farmers and landowners, and the communities they support.
The Senate letter also recognizes that subsidized and unfairly traded lumber imports continue to severely harm United Statesmills, workers and communities, and that to fully address these impacts, any new agreement must establish border measures that are effective in all market situations to disallow further divergences between U.S. and Canadian timber costs created by Canadian subsidies.
Should Canada and the United States be unable to reach an effective agreement, the Senators highlight in their letter the importance of the U.S. trade laws, and that these be fully enforced against unfairly traded imports, including softwood lumber.
The U.S. lumber industry's overarching goal is to restore an environment in which it can invest, grow to its natural size, and better be able supply the U.S. market – which will help restore the thousands of jobs lost to unfair trade, and can only happen if the domestic industry is not being impaired by unfairly traded imports.”