Canada must put aside the rhetoric and return to the negotiating table if the softwood lumber dispute with the United States is to be settled once and for all, U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins said Wednesday.
“What we don’t need is continued rhetoric to raise the emotional issues.”
It’s funny because Canada walking away from the table doesn’t raise my emotions…. it’s when the US continually ignores legal rulings from NAFTA and the WTO that have gone almost exclusively in Canadas’ favor that raises MY emotions.
And for the many Americans who read this blog, if you’re a homeowner… you should be angry too, because, according to the National Association of Home Builders, what’s bad for Canadian lumber, is bad for building a home in the US.
The link above is from another NAFTA ruling last year.
An April 30, 2004 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) panel decision stating once again that U.S. lumber producers are not threatened with injury from Canadian trade practices represents an important win for housing affordability, free trade, and millions of domestic lumber consumers who are already feeling the pinch of soaring prices.
“For the second time, a NAFTA panel has determined the domestic lumber industry’s injury threat allegations are baseless and contrary to law. We call on the Administration not to engage in any legal delays and to allow the implementation of this decision. It’s high time to roll back the 27 percent duties on Canadian lumber and end the hidden tax imposed on American home buyers and renters,” said NAHB President Bobby Rayburn.
In November 2004, the US Administration found another, different reason for their duties and taxes on Canadian lumber… I’m sure that once THOSE reasons are proved legally baseless, they’ll make something else up.
That is… unless Canada starts standing up for itself and it’s struggling forest industry and imposes some sanctions of its’ own.
Due to the intransigence of the US, Canada is, as far as I know, in a LEGAL POSITION to impose sanctions of its’ own.
How about a nice hefty tax on some of the oil, gas, water and/or electricity that the US buys from us every single day. Money from the tax can go directly to the employees and *Canadian Companies* layed off due to mill closures and to a tidy little fund to help develop new, alternative energy solutions.
I’m usually the one who advocates negotiation over retaliation… but there comes a point when you realise that the only way to beat the bully is to show just how weak he really is.