U.S. Is Missing Big Picture In Row Over Softwood Lumber

Posted on Friday, September 09 at 13:37 by jensonj
Conservative leader Stephen Harper put his finger neatly on the problem yesterday when he talked about the "apparent irrelevancy of the trade dispute mechanism" within NAFTA. Canada wins some point at the World Trade Organization; the U.S. ignores it. And so it goes on. Endlessly. The new U.S. ambassador to Canada, David Wilkins, doesn't appear to grasp the depth of Canadian disaffection. While devoting the greater part of his speech to the Vancouver Board of Trade yesterday to lumber, he offered no new approach, merely repeating his call: "Let's negotiate." We've been there, done that. Wilkins must understand it's no longer about softwood lumber per se; it's about fixing NAFTA. Canadians won't go on supporting a flawed agreement that works only when Washington wants it to. http://www.canada.com/vancouver/theprovince/news/editorial/story.html?id=a2820fd0-a641-41c0-b4f4-8add31f7b47e [Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on September 10, 2005]

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  1. Sat Sep 10, 2005 4:46 pm

    Darren Olson
    "We shall be Canadians first, foremost, and always, and our policies will be decided in Canada and not dictated by any other country." - Diefe

  2. Sat Sep 10, 2005 5:42 pm
    While Canada is upset that the U.S.A. will not repay the five billion bucks a tribunal determined it owes Canada, the country forgets how it has thumbed its nose at similar tribunals. Bombardier Inc., a large Canadian conglomerate that designs and builds airplanes and trains, was cited by the World Trade Organisation for receiving subsidies from Ottawa. Further, Ontario subsidises the auto industry, as have some U.S. states, in contravention of NAFTA. From the pages of the past [circa 1980], Ottawa's much-maligned [in the West], idiotic National Energy Programme that indiscriminately taxed American oil companies is another example of how Ottawa 'views' the playing field.

    It is time that Ottawa realised that nothing it can do will change the minds of those in Washington's Commerce Department. It is time Ottawa stopped whining and got on with governing the country.

  3. Sun Sep 11, 2005 4:09 am
    "Canada is missing big picture in row over softwood lumber"<br />
    <br />
    Canada, chew on your wood. The USA doesn't need it.<br />
    <br />
    "...Chronic overproduction and a surge in Scandinavian imports created a buyer's market and buyers got in the habit of placing orders on an as-needed basis..."<br />
    <br />
    <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/cp/business/050909/b090962.html">http://www.cbc.ca/cp/business/050909/b090962.html</a><br />
    <br />
    Meanwhile, the USA will buy from friendlier suppliers.<br />
    <br />

  4. Sun Sep 11, 2005 8:17 pm
    This writer ignores that Canada has a treaty with the US for free trade. There is no merit to the US countervail and the independent panels are saying so. The US is so far removed from any reality or fairness on these issues that they are still trying to use "zeroing" to calculate alleged dumping margins.

    The fact that as Canadian imports are restricted imports from Scandinavia (and Chile and Germany and New Zealand) all surge in spite of the longer distances and transport costs involved underscores the fact that Canada is charging a world price for its lumber.

  5. Mon Sep 12, 2005 10:07 pm

    Uhh buddy check your history books - NAFTA didn't exist before 1988. And, FYI, the WTO issue with bobardier had to do with Brazil's Embraier - another heavily government subsidized aerospace manufacturer. Now, if memory serves - Brazil isn't in the Lower 48 now is it? Duhhhhh......

    The United States clearly has shown with NAfTA and other world trade bodies that it has no intentions of actually honouring any agreements. You know what happens to people who continuously make deals and then fall through on committments don't you? Yeah...that's right - they are out of business. But, I suppose the US of A can continue to trade with the "coalition of the willing"... Micronesia needs some Twinkies and cocoa puffs I think.

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