WASHINGTON -- In a letter sent to President Barack Obama today, Idaho Senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo along with Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and 21 other Senators called for any new softwood lumber agreement with Canada to protect U.S. timber jobs and communities.
“Hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs and thousands of U.S. rural communities depend on fairness in trade in softwood lumber. That is why we will continue to urge you, and any future Administration, to seek a fair, effective, and sustainable agreement with Canada on softwood lumber trade, and in the absence of such an agreement, to fully enforce U.S. trade laws,” the senators wrote.
Canada’s latest proposals have fallen short of the shared goals announced by President Obama and Canadian Prime Minster Trudeau earlier this year.
“We are concerned … the Canadian government has been unwilling to put forth or seriously consider proposals consistent with that statement,” the senators wrote. “In contrast, we understand that the U.S. government has submitted detailed proposals to the Canadian government that would establish an agreement consistent with the terms of the Joint Statement. These proposals are designed to ensure that Canadian lumber imports would enter the U.S. market at or below an agreed U.S. market share and to provide appropriate flexibility for the Canadian government to administer such a program.”
In July, Wyden, Risch and Crapo led a coalition of 25 senators who called on any new softwood lumber agreement with Canada to include strong protections for American lumber jobs and mills.
Read the full letter here.