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Do you hear anything in the States about the 29% tariff...(4 posts)

Do you hear anything in the States about the 29% tariff...OutWest
Mar 29, 2002 10:38 PM
...imposed on Canadian softwood coming across the line by Congress? It is devastating the B.C. lumber industry. I was just wondering if it ever makes your news at all and what kind of spin is put on it on your side of the border. This question is NOT meant to cause any arguments, jusy satisfy my curiousity!
re: SureCliff Oates
Mar 30, 2002 8:23 AM
FWIW, there has been a "temporary" 32% tariff in place since last year. That's the one that is presently in effect. The 29% tariff is under review by the US International Trade Commission. Canada will seek a ruling on the tariffs at the WTO and NAFTA. In articles I have read on the subject, US companies are affected by the duties too, with Weyerhauser being specifically mentioned. The home building folks are quite upset and are estimating the tariffs add $1,500 to the price of a new house.

Then there's the steel tariff that was just announced...

Trade protectionism is generally a bad idea, and one that conservatives normally shun. It is a form of taxation for consumers of the affected products. The administration is spinning the heck out of it, but even the staunchly Republican Chicago Tribune called Bush "All hat, no cattle" over the issue in a recent editorial.
What free trade?IAM
Mar 31, 2002 8:46 AM
It seems to me that for two countries that have a free trade agreement there seems to be alot of these issues come up.
I don't claim to be an expert on the trade issue but I don't understand how they can call it "free" and then always put tariff's on things. Oh well I guess negotiations or the WTO will work it out.
re: Do you hear anything in the States about the 29% tariff...TJeanloz
Apr 1, 2002 7:03 AM
It is an interesting tariff, the point of which is that the US claims that the Canadian government is subsidizing the lumber industry, inducing unfairly low production costs, and enabling their lumber to undercut American lumber. I kind of see their point in that how much cheaper could it be to cut a tree down and mill it in Canada than in the United States? On the other hand, the stumpage itself ought to be cheaper in Canada by rules of supply (they have a lot of stumpage). Free trade only works in the absence of subsidies, where an industry is subsidized a tariff needs to be introduced to counteract the market distortion.

The question really is whether or not Canada is subsidizing its lumber industry- they claim not.