Rep. Peter DeFazio Fights for U.S. Timber Industry in Testimony to International Trade Commission
Rep. Peter DeFazio today submitted testimony to a hearing held by the International Trade Commission (ITC) calling for a ruling against the unfair softwood lumber trade practices employed by the Canadian lumber industry that are devastating Southwest Oregon’s timber industry.
The ITC is currently hearing arguments on whether Canadian softwood lumber imports are damaging to the U.S. timber industry. Unlike the United States, the Canadian timber industry is heavily subsidized by the Canadian government, providing them an artificially lower cost of production than American timber, which is sold in a competitive free market system.
This imbalance is further exacerbated by Canadian producers undercutting U.S. prices and dumping softwood lumber into the U.S. market to steal market share, as confirmed by a Department of Commerce investigation earlier this year.
Because of the structural differences in markets and timber pricing between the two nations, Canada and the United States traditionally have a long-standing series of trade agreements governing timber sales, otherwise known as Softwood Lumber Agreements (SLAs). With the expiration of the last Softwood Lumber Agreement in 2015, representatives from the U.S. timber industry have petitioned the Department of Commerce and the ITC to fully enforce existing U.S. trade laws to ensure a level playing field for softwood lumber trade between the U.S. and Canada.
In his testimony to the ITC, Congressman DeFazio writes,
“This case represents not only fairness in trade, but economic stability for some of our most vulnerable communities. The U.S. timber industry supports more than 350,000 direct and indirect jobs across the country. Protecting the U.S. softwood lumber industry against unfair competition will promote good manufacturing jobs for Americans, investment in our local communities, and economic growth for our country.”
To read Rep. DeFazio’s full testimony, click here.
# # #