A comparison with March 2005

  Niagara Falls, Ontario,
Thursday, May 4, 2006
by: Joe Hueglin

Beyond question the Canadian position has been strengthened over the last year in terms of the softwood lumber dispute.

If NAFTA means anything there should be 100% return of the monies illegally taken and free access of Canadian softwood lumber into the United States market.

It is the United States that is under the NAFTA gun to either agree to Canadian positions or launch the last appeal by midnight on April 27 2006. An appeal that would in all probability fail.

There is no rationale serving Canada's interests for the Government of Canada to accept the conditions that have been leaked, a 78% return of monies, a bureaucratic nightmare of a quota, and export taxes. All are to the benefit of the United States, none flow out of NAFTA decisions.


Aside from these factors as yet unknown is whether there will be an undertaking not to follow through on litigation during the terms of the pact or whether provinces will be expected to alter their patterns to meet the American ways of doing things as was in the 2005 proposal attached.

One thing is certain. The Draft as of March 8 2005 ending statement "12. The parties will not take any action to circumvent their commitments in the Agreement" was wishful thinking. As wishful as believing that the Government of the Unites States of America when its interests were at stake would honour the NAFTA agreement.


Joe Hueglin

In March 2005 for "refund, with interest . . . 100 percent of all duty cash deposits" as stated in Part 1 - 3. of The Initial Proposal for a Resolution of the Softwood Lumber Dispute
the Government of Canada was prepared to levy an export tax until such time as policy changes were implemented by provinces agreeable to the United States.

NAFTA panels having determined subsidization has not occurred, the most recent in the DECISION OF THE PANEL ON THE FIFTH REMAND DETERMINATION, March 17, 2006
there is no basis for Part 2 or Part 3 being proposed or accepted.



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