West Hill Collegiate Institute - International Business

Established in 2012, by Daniel Shafransky and Raymond Ahmad

Lumber I: 1982-1983

Source: The softwood war begins

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  • Sarah Bandali
  • Bavin Kirupaharan
  • Andrea Ramdeo

9 Comments

  1. Part 1- Summary of softwood war begins:
    Softwood lumber has many purposes such as furniture, paper production and most importantly structural building components. This being it is in high demand in the world but especially in North America. Canada is one of the largest softwood lumber producers exporting to the US. This is how the softwood lumber dispute began. The softwood lumber dispute was established in 1982 where Canada’s provinces own most of the forest resource and administer the rates considering in the US rates are set at an auction. The Canadian government timber to them for far less than the market value of the lumber. The US Commerce Dept turned down the application for countervailing duties in 1983.The US found that stumpage programs were not countervail able because stumpage was generally available and not limited to a specific industry . Under the US law a supposed aid provided an importer with an advantage in the U.S. market. With lumber, the U.S. argues that provincial stumpage provides a subsidy to lumber producers.
    Sources:
    (n.d.). Retrieved November 02, 2017, from http://www.mapleleafweb.com/features/canada-us-softwood-lumber-dispute
    Softwood Lumber Dispute. (n.d.). Retrieved November 02, 2017, from http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/softwood-lumber-dispute/
    Lumber I to IV: History of the Canada-U.S. Softwood Lumber Dispute. (n.d.). Retrieved November 02, 2017, from https://lop.parl.ca/content/lop/ResearchPublications/tips/tip134-e.htm

  2. Part 2- Summary of Digital Archive (The softwood war begins):
    This digital achieve talks about how much softwood lumber is worth which is two and a half billion dollars to only the US which most the money goes to the British Columbia saw mills. The British Columbia saw mills export 70% of their lumber to the US. The petition asked for a duty of exports that will bring the Canadian exports to the level of US lumber prices which would take away Canada’s competition. The US international trade commission looked for a trade subsidy but found nothing, leaving them 45 days to consider the petition. Canada is already expecting the petition.
    Source:
    The softwood war begins – CBC Archives. (2017, March 09). Retrieved November 02, 2017, from http://www.cbc.ca/archives/entry/the-softwood-war-begins

  3. Part 3- Reflection:
    My thoughts on the softwood lumber dispute are it is never ending. British Columbia being the largest producer of softwood lumber continues to raise the price to charge to its producers to the point where the United States determined there was no subsidy remaining and no free form of those shipments from the export tax. As of now and the dispute still going on the wood products will create Canadian jobs and benefit the communities that rely upon the forest industry. This is a good and bad thing as Canada will continue to invest in research and development through FP Innovations, Canada’s leading technology incubator for forest products.

  4. The Softwood War Begins 1982-1983
    1. The Canada–United States softwood lumber dispute is one of the largest and most enduring trade disputes between these nations which lasted over twenty years. In October of 1982, housing construction was down and the United States lumber industry was weakening. A growing issue was, imported Canadian lumber it was priced cheaper than what the United States could have produced which is affecting jobs and resulting in unemployment. At the heart of the dispute was the claim that the Canadian lumber industry is unfairly subsidized by federal and provincial governments, as most lumber in Canada was owned by the provincial governments. The beginning of the softwood lumber dispute commonly referred to as Lumber I, occurred in 1982, when the United States lumber industry petitioned the United States Department of Commerce to impose a countervailing tariff and late in 1982, United States saw millers requested that Commerce investigate stumpage systems in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. The following year, Commerce made a decision that stumpage fees could not be countervailed because they were not limited to a specific industry and over one-third of all softwood used there comes from Canada therefore, it affects us a lot because we were losing millions of dollars and jobs, taking a huge impact on our economy.

    2. Canadian softwood products are worth approximately 2.5 billion dollars yearly bringing in a decent income for the country of Canada but the softwood lumber dispute affected this a lot. A petition asked that Canadian exports to be brought up to the level of U.S. lumber prices. Earlier that year the issue was studied by the U.S. international trade commission which found no evidence in a provincial subsidy. Tony Halladay says the real problem is the slump in the housing construction and once that has been dealt with U.S. manufacturers will step back. As this has happened in the past, he hopes the same thing will happen again as the housing markets picked up and the complaints faded away.

    References
    Websites
    The softwood war begins – CBC Archives. (2017, March 09). Retrieved November 02, 2017, from http://www.cbc.ca/archives/entry/the-softwood-war-begins
    (n.d.). Retrieved November 02, 2017, from http://www.mapleleafweb.com/features/canada-us-softwood-lumber-dispute.html#north
    Lumber I to IV: History of the Canada-U.S. Softwood Lumber Dispute. (n.d.). Retrieved November 02, 2017, from https://lop.parl.ca/content/lop/ResearchPublications/tips/tip134-e.htm
    Videos
    The softwood war begins. (2016, December 22). Retrieved November 02, 2017, from http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1822836000/

  5. Part 3: Reflection
    In my opinion, the softwood lumber industry is an important sector in the Canadian economy, it provides a great deal of jobs while bringing a significant revenue. Despite the U.S. market’s dependence on imported lumber, the U.S. lumber industry has frequently sought U.S. government restrictions on Canadian softwood lumber imports through the application of U.S. countervailing and anti-dumping duty laws. This gave rise to the Canada-U.S. Lumber Dispute. This dispute has been ongoing, dragging along from all the way back in 1982, and along with this constant fight for lumber tariffs, come devastating effects on both the economy and the public relationship of these two major trading partners.
    This conflict that arose long time ago has impacted, negatively, the lumber industry for both Canada and America. The instability created by such has lead to complication between trading of these two. As a result, there has been tensions created between both neighbouring countries, between the countervailing and dumping duties to up to 24 % posed from the U.S., it has even caused the layoff of thousands of workers in the lumber industry in Canada, and increase in prices for certain things.
    Since lumber trade with the U.S. presents so many obstacles and complications, I believe this should bring attention to the fact that Canada needs to start looking at ways to access other markets, and not only place its focus on the U.S. regarding lumber trade. For example, China is trying to establish a trading relationship, which would be very beneficial to our economy. We should be looking at the Pacific lines, and South American countries. In conclusion, the softwood lumber dispute has had a detrimental effect on the lumber industry for both countries. The reasons as to why the U.S impose the dump and countervailing duties on Canadian exports of lumber are most of the time arguable, and not valid enough to hold up to the claim. Canada has gone to court various times, and come victorious almost every time, which is why this dispute should be reconsidered by the american government, so that this trading war can end.

  6. In my opinion, The softwood lumber dispute is one of the largest and most enduring trade disputes between both nations. The softwood lumber dispute has not really changed from 1982 to the present day which is right now. While reading Ahan’s summary, I realized that nothing really has changed and that the only difference is that the tariffs are higher today. There are also similarities like how the job opportunities are still on the line and that any people still rely on lumber job opportunities! However since the lumber dispute started Canada and the US still havent set on a settlement and this effecting our economy. I honestly thought that a settlement would have been made by today, but after reading Ahan’s summary I am now aware that there are some similarities and differences from back then and today.

  7. Part 1: The Canada–U.S. softwood lumber dispute is one of the largest and most enduring trade disputes between both nations. Starting in 1982, since Canada has a vast collection of lumber resources on government-owned land, they have more access to cheaper lumber. The US housing construction was slowly declining and the lumber industry was weakening because of Canada’s lumber being so cheap so it eliminates the need for lumber from private American companies which affect many jobs in lumber in the United States while Canadian lumber is from government-owned companies. The beginning of the softwood lumber dispute which would be commonly referred as lumber I which occurred in 1982-1983, the United States lumber industry petitioned the United States Department of Commerce to impose the tariff. The US Commerce Department turned down the application for countervailing tariffs and found that stumpage programs were not countervailable which then affects Canada and the jobs of many Canadians.

  8. Part 2. In this CBC Archive radio broadcast, the reporter was explaining how the lumber dispute between Canada and the United States happened with Canada getting 2.5 billion dollars from the U.S alone from lumber which would hurt the U.S lumber economy. British Columbia alone was exporting 70% of their lumber to the U.S so to prevent Canada having the competitive edge against the United States, the U.S started a petition on a countervailing duty on softwood lumber products. The United States tried to prevent Canada from gaining off of them due to their slump in housing construction otherwise they would’ve backed off and left Canada alone. The US international trade commission attempted to find a trade subsidy but resulted in no findings which left them with 45 days to consider the petition while Canada was already expecting the petition.

    The softwood war begins – CBC Archives. (2017, March 09). Retrieved November 08, 2017, from http://www.cbc.ca/archives/entry/the-softwood-war-begins

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