February 23, 2005

Crapo to Chair International Trade Panel

Senate Majority Leader appointment may bring lumber issue to forefront

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo has been selected to co-chair an international parliamentary panel with Canada, and plans to bring concerns over Canadian softwood lumber imports into the United States to the discussions at the groupâ??s annual meeting next month. The Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group was set up in 1969 to exchange information and promote better understanding between Canadian and U.S. parliamentarians on common programs and concerns. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist sought out Crapo to co-chair the panel because of his heavy involvement with trade issues in a number of areas.â??Canada is one of our best and most trusted trading partners, and the inter-parliamentary group is one way to keep that relationship healthy,â?? Crapo said. â??The softwood lumber concerns will be at the top of my priority list, but I also expect we will discuss a number of other trading issues, such as those related to agricultural products like wheat and potatoes.â??The U.S. group will be led by Crapo and Representative Amo Houghton (R-New York); the Canadian group is led by Senator Jerahmiel (Jerry) Grafstein and MP Joe Comuzzi. The group is scheduled to hold its annual meeting from May 15 through 18 in Niagara Falls, New York. Twenty-four delegates from each country are appointed; they include Senators, Members of the House of Commons, and the U.S. House of Representatives. Crapoâ??s American co-chair is Representative Amo Houghton (R-New York). In anticipation of the meetings next month, Crapo has held meetings with some of his Canadian counterparts this week in Washington, D.C. Crapo was a delegate to the World Trade Organization (WTO) meetings in Seattle in 1999, and is a member of the Senate Banking Committee Subcommittee on International Trade and Finance.A satellite feed with footage from Crapoâ??s meetings as well as soundbites is available today:1:45 to 2:00 p.m. Mountain/12:45 to 1:00 p.m. PacificGalaxy 3 (C-Band), Transponder 7 Horizontal, Downlink 3840, Standard audio# # #FOR INTERESTED MEDIA: A radio actuality is available by calling 1-800-545-1267. Press 327 at any time during or after the greeting and instructions. You can also access the actuality through the Internet at