WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Agriculture Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) issued the following statement after the announcement that US and Canadian officials had reached an agreement on softwood lumber trade.
“I applaud the efforts of Deputy US Trade Representative Susan Schwab and Canada’s Ambassador to the US, the Honorable Michael Wilson, for their Herculean efforts to resolve this issue. US lumber producers have suffered real harm as the result of imports of subsidized Canadian lumber, and the dispute over softwood lumber trade has led to more litigation and bitterness than any other trade issue between the US and Canada.
This agreement will provide some degree of certainty to US lumber producers and an adequate supply of affordable lumber for our homebuilders. It is preferable to have the lumber trade managed under this agreement, while moving Canadian producers closer to a market model, than to have this important industry operate against the backdrop of continued litigation and acrimony.
US landowners and lumber producers base their stumpage and lumber prices entirely on market signals, and it is unfair to expect them to compete against producers who simply churn out lumber regardless of what the market demands. Today’s announced agreement provides an opportunity to stop the constant legal skirmishes and to provide a reasonably fair solution to a dispute that goes back almost three decades. It is a welcome resolution to an old dispute between an important trading partner and a good neighbor.”