Keith Chu: 202-224-3789
Wyden Statement on Softwood Lumber Negotiations
As Canadian negotiators met with U.S. officials and U.S. industry representatives in an attempt to resolve longstanding differences between the United States and Canada regarding subsidies to Canadian lumber production, Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, renewed his call for a real and lasting solution to this longstanding problem.
“For two years, the United States has been clear that simply renewing the old softwood lumber agreement is not possible. The United States worked to develop a better model and has urged Canada to come to the table to explore new ideas to bridge differences on lumber. Denying the problem will not lead to a solution,” Wyden said.
“I am hopeful that this week’s meetings with U.S. industry made clear to Canada that the United States’ position reflects the views of American mills across the country. That fact also should have been clear from the letter I and 24 other Senators sent to Ambassador Froman last month. Likewise, businesses and communities across Canada – not only Western Canada but also in the East -- have a stake in a durable resolution to this issue. It would be unfortunate for all parties if the views of a few mills prevent a settlement from being reached.
“That said, beginning on October 12, U.S. workers and producers will have the option of bringing new trade cases under U.S. law to address the harmful effects of subsidized Canadian lumber on American producers, workers and communities in Oregon and across the nation. I have heard from mills and workers throughout Oregon in recent months about the harms they are facing today from a flood of subsidized Canadian lumber entering the U.S. market. Oregonians throughout the state are affected -- from sawmill operators, to timberland owners, to business owners in Oregon’s many timber-dependent communities, to the hardworking men and women in our forestry sector. Should new cases be filed, I will continue to fight to ensure that America’s trade laws are fully enforced. That includes strengthened provisions that were included in trade enforcement laws I successfully fought to pass this year.”
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