Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The CFLI (Coalition For Fair Lumber Imports) Awakens

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.


tdwebste said...

Forget Lumber who cares about it.
Alberta is a oil rush like Saudi Arabia was in the 1940's

This is going to be a long, long secular story: something like investing in Saudi Arabia in the 1940s. But I really do hope the State Department works out a friendly merger with our neighbors on the Athabasca plains one day

This is not recent news, but it is just as true today as when the Conservatives where first elected.

Last month, Canada threw out its namby-pamby liberal government and ushered in a new era of conservative rule. Thank goodness for small favors. Now when we run out of crude oil and natural gas down here in the United States, we wont have to invade our neighbors to the north to make sure the lights stay on. We can just arrange a friendly annexation.

Ti-Guy said...

The original deal was cobbled together to last just long enough that the Tories might ride its "success" to a majority.

That's pretty much the story with everything the Harpies did in the last 17 months.

I'd like to say I'm surprised they misread the situation so badly, but I'm really not. Remember, this is the brain-trust that thought invading Iraq was a wonderful idea.