Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Oregon mill owners claim Canadian mills are driving down wood prices with unfair trade practices.
Underpriced Canadian lumber joins the housing slump and logging restrictions on federal forests as main reasons for layoffs at the Glendale-based Swanson Group's mills, [owner Steve] Swanson said.
Swanson chairs an industry group, the Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports, which argues Canada is violating the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement, which is intended to create free and fair trade between the two lumber-producing countries.
Under the agreement, Canadian timber is priced by the quality of lumber it will yield. The poorest — and cheapest — logs are categorized as suitable for making pulp.
The coalition charges, and U.S. trade officials agree, that Canada is using a mountain pine beetle infestation as an excuse to underprice timber, giving B.C. mills an unfair advantage over their U.S. competitors.
Read more at The News-Review.