"BACKING DOWN FOR CANADA" Softwood Lumber Deal an Economic and Political Disaster

By Campbell, Bruce | CCPA Monitor, October 2006 | Go to article overview

"BACKING DOWN FOR CANADA" Softwood Lumber Deal an Economic and Political Disaster


Campbell, Bruce, CCPA Monitor


Claiming that "a clear majority" of lumber producers now support the Canada-U.S. softwood lumber agreement, Prime Minister Harper says this is sufficient for his government to bring forward implementing legislation in Parliament, though it almost certainly falls far short of the original 95% support target.

Given the significance of this settlement-far beyond the commercial effects on a single industry-who won and who lost, and what the implications are for Canada, are questions that bear close scrutiny.

The U.S. government now holds over $5 billion in duties extracted over the last five years from Canadian exporters. Despite Canada having won virtually all the legal actions against the U.S. under NAFTA and the WTO, the U.S. government has continued to stonewall or simply disregard rulings, and has refused to hand back this money.

The U.S. domestic trade court had ruled that the U.S. law (the Byrd amendment) that would remit this money to U.S. plaintiffs was unconstitutional and therefore that the U.S. companies were not entitled to a penny of this money.

As part of the settlement, however, the Canadian government handed over $1 billion of the duties collected from Canadian companies-$500 million to the U.S. lumber industry, and $450 million to the Bush administration. This was the American price for giving Canada at least two years of lumber peace. In addition, the Americans secured tough restrictions on Canadian access to their market and got greater control over Canadian forest policies.

The US. companies' cut of this money covers their legal fees and replenishes their war chest for the next round of the lumber dispute. The Bush White House cut was nothing less than a huge slush fund for the upcoming Congressional elections-an unprecedented campaign gift from the Harper government to the Republican re-election bid, paid for by the Canadian lumber industry.

On the Canadian side, apart from a small group of large continentally integrated companies, the vast majority think it is a bad deal. They feel let down, coerced, and sacrificed by their own government for narrow political ends.

Having spent hundreds of millions of dollars on litigation, they could see light at the end of the legal tunnel. Canadian WTO and NAFTA victories were tightening the noose on the Americans, and, more importantly, U.S. trade courts were ruling in Canada's favour. They are bitter that their own government pulled the plug just as they were on the verge of winning the legal war. They are bitter that the government kneecapped them into submission: offering cash advances only for those who signed on, and ominous threats to the holdouts: no cash advances, no cooperation, no support.

The Canadian firms feel they have been fleeced to the tune of a billion dollars. They have bought a pitifully short period of peace and have bolstered their enemy's capacity and incentive to resume the fight. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

"BACKING DOWN FOR CANADA" Softwood Lumber Deal an Economic and Political Disaster
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.