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‘Situation intolerable’ Coalition says of stalled softwood deal


October 3, 2006
By Pulp & Paper Canada

The Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports is pushing for the settlement of the softwood lumber agreement.

The Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports is pushing for the settlement of the softwood lumber agreement.

“Canada should implement its obligations under the agreement effective October 1, even if it must do so retroactively,” said coalition chairman Steve Swanson. “The United States satisfied all of its obligations to facilitate implementation of the settlement agreement by October 1. Some Canadian parties, however are doing everything possible to delay implementation. As a result, there is havoc in the U.S. lumber market and rapidly escalating job losses.”

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The agreement, which was originally settled on September 12, targeted October 1, 2006 as the date for implementation. However, as the date drew closer, announcements were made that the date would be pushed back.

According to the Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports, Canadian producers have been shipping volumes into a weak U.S. market in anticipation of implementation, which is artificially accelerating and deepening a market downturn for the North American lumber industry.

“The settlement agreement should ultimately level the competitive playing field. It is ironic that, in the short term, some are using it as an excuse to undermine the market and shut down U.S. mills,” Swanson said. “The situation is intolerable and threatens the settlement,” he concluded.


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