Idaho Sens. Mike Crapo and Larry Craig and Idaho Reps. Mike Simpson and C.L. “Butch” Otter say last week’s signing of the US-Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement is a necessary final step to provide for the implementation of this long sought resolution. The delegation commends the hard work and perseverance of the Bush Administration and Prime Minister Harper in reaching the agreement.
US Trade Representative Susan Schwab and Canadian Minister for International Trade David Emerson met in Ottawa to sign the agreement that provides for the end of all litigation over trade in softwood lumber. Signing of the agreements sends a clear message to the courts that implementation of the agreement is coming, and opinions should not be issued that derail the agreement.
“Now that the agreement has been signed, it is imperative that implementation is achieved swiftly,” the delegation said. “We commend Ambassador Schwab for her determination and expertise in getting the agreement to this point. We will continue to work with her and others to ensure that the terms of the agreement are adhered to and that the agreement benefits Idaho communities and the US softwood lumber industry.”
The Agreement also allows for the formation of an endowment to fund: assistance for timber reliant communities; low income housing and disaster relief; and promotion of sustainable forest management practices. The Bush Administration announced the formation of the US Timber Endowment, which will be receiving $450 million in antidumping and countervailing duties paid by Canadian lumber companies.
The delegation is optimistic about the work the Endowment will do, stating, “The establishment of the endowment is welcome news, and we look forward to the productive work it will accomplish. As we all know, trade disputes affect all communities, regardless of what side of the border they are on. The Endowment will put aside differences to help the timber industry in North America stay competitive and grow.” (US Fed News)