A few people have noticed that the Canada/U.S. softwood lumber dispute is heating up again, and that the new set of U.S. legal challenges will actually be financed with the 1/2 billion or so we handed over to them to grovel our way to a "deal" in 2006.
Less noted is that the Coalition For Fair Lumber Imports, had cranked out a news release within minutes of the U.S. governments decision to seek binding arbitration against Canada to "compel Canada to live up to its SLA (Softwood Lumber Agreement) obligations." The CFLI news release can be found here, and laments:
"...the Coalition supports the initiatives taken today by the U.S. Government as Canada has unilaterally and without consultation undermined the softwood lumber agreement by refusing to implement key terms.... [T]he required tax and quota limits on shipments are essential to remedy Canada’s unfair trade practices. Canada’s failure to honor its commitments under the agreement continues to severely harm the U.S. lumber industry which is suffering curtailments and layoffs caused by production cutbacks that are occurring at twice the rate in the United States compared to our subsidized Canadian counterparts."
The CFLI is the power behind the throne on this issue and, if you're wondering why, get a load of their membership list, which was accidentally e-mailed to the media in early 2006. Far from being an obscure group of underdog woodsmen, it is in reality composed of many of the largest soft-wood lumber companies in the United States. You can be sure they don't give two farts about industry "layoffs".
This whole slowly unfolding disaster, by the way, was a result of Harper's 2006/07 re-election strategy. The original deal was cobbled together to last just long enough that the Tories might ride its "success" to a majority. Now that this strategy has failed, watch the deal unravel and--the one bright spot in all this--watch the Harper Tories wear it big-time.