July 25, 2017

Wyden, Crapo Lead Bipartisan Finance Committee Senators Calling for Real Relief for U.S. Softwood Lumber Mills and Producers

Urge More Consultations with Finance Committee

WASHINGTON – Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, today released a bipartisan letter from seven members of the Senate Finance Committee calling for a clean quota agreement to address unfairly traded softwood lumber from Canada, one that provides real relief for U.S. mills and wood product companies. 

Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Sen. Mike Bennet, D-Colo., joined the letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

“Any long-term agreement must stop the harmful effects of subsidized and unfairly traded Canadian lumber on fair competition with the U.S. producers,” the members wrote.

The members also urged close consultations with the Finance Committee. 

“The Senate Finance Committee must be briefed fully and regularly on the details of proposals before they are made to Canada.  The confidence of the public in any proposed agreement can only be secured through meaningful engagement with the people’s representatives in Congress.”

The U.S. and Canada are currently negotiating a new softwood lumber agreement.  At the same time, U.S. companies are challenging Canada’s practice of heavily subsidizing lumber production and selling dumped and subsidized products in the U.S. market, destroying American jobs in the process.

“The American economy depends on a vibrant domestic lumber industry – from the thousands of workers tied to the wood industry and many private landowners managing forestlands that provide material for mills.  Completing a fair agreement will support these jobs and the American economy, particularly in rural communities across the nation.  It is also an issue of fairness in trade and competition, a principle that must be upheld and backed by enforcement of U.S. trade laws.”

The full letter can be read here online.

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