July 18,2003

Baucus Pleased by NAFTA Ruling against Canadian Softwood

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) U.S. Senator Max Baucus, Ranking Democrat of the Senate Finance Committee, today made the following statement in response to the recent ruling by a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) dispute panel regarding the U.S.-Canada dispute over softwood lumber:

“I am pleased that the NAFTA dispute panel has affirmed the U.S. Department of Commerce decision that Canadian timber producers are dumping their product into the U.S. market. This unfair practice has caused, and continues to cause, significant harm to producers, workers, and companies in Montana and the rest of the country. The Montana timber industry is in crisis and the Canadian timber practices are at the heart of this crisis.

The NAFTA panel’s decision is in important in two primary respects. First, it affirms that the U.S. Department of Commerce acted within its lawful authority in proceeding with the antidumping investigation. Second, it affirms the Commerce Department determination to rely on the U.S. industry’s petition in pursuing the investigation. All of this is a confirmation that the Canadian industry has been dumping into the U.S. market. We simply cannot tolerate such practices.

I look forward to the release of the other two NAFTA panel decisions - regarding the Commerce countervailing duty determination, and the International Trade Commission’s determination of material injury - and I expect these decisions will also vindicate the petitions of the U.S. softwood industry. It's important that this issue is resolved once and for all in order to secure an open, fair, and competitive market for softwood lumber."