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BINATIONAL PANEL UNANIMOUSLY DELIVERS SECOND IMPARTIAL REBUKE OF U.S. CASE IN SOFTWOOD LUMBER DISPUTE

 ITC PANEL SAYS INJURY FINDING
 `NOT SUPPORTED BY SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE ON THE RECORD'
 WASHINGTON, July 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The Canadian Forest Industries Council issued the following:
 An independent, binational review panel today ordered the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to reconsider its determination that Canadian softwood lumber imports are injuring the U.S. industry.
 Noting that "a finding of material injury requires more than speculation," the panel said it was "unable to discern any evidence (as distinguished from theory, argument, supposition or assumption), factually demonstrating that imports of Canadian softwood lumber significantly suppressed U.S. softwood lumber prices during the period of investigation.
 The panel further stated "that the commission's determination of material injury by reason of subsidized Canadian imports is not supported by substantial evidence on the record. Accordingly, the panel remands the commission's final determination for reconsideration."
 This panel decision was the second rebuke of the United States in the countervailing duty investigation in less than three months. The first occurred May 6, 1993, when a separate binational review panel ordered the U.S. Department of Commerce to reconsider all major elements in its decision to impose a 6.5 percent countervailing duty on Canadian softwood lumber imports.
 Tom Buell, chairman of the Canadian Forest Industries Council (CFIC), welcomed another favorable ruling for Canada and said it confirms CFIC's position that there is no justification for the U.S. countervailing duty investigation against Canada.
 "If this were a fight, the referees would stop the bout," Buell said. "The Clinton administration should stop defending its predecessor's unjustified actions and cease this long-term harassment now."
 The ITC panel's announcement resulted from an appeal -- by the government of Canada, its provinces and the Canadian lumber industry -- of the June 1992 ITC determination that Canadian softwood lumber exports were injuring U.S. lumber manufacturers. At the time of the 4-2 vote, one of the dissenters, ITC Commissioner Janet Nuzum, noted that "the record does not support a determination of present injury."
 The ITC panel's decision requires the ITC to respond to every question raised by the panel ... and report back to the panel in 90 days. If the panel is not satisfied with the ITC's response, it may choose to remand again with more specific instructions.
 The Commerce Department's response to the binational panel's May 6 remand was due by Aug. 4, but the agency recently asked for a two-month extension. Canada has objected to the extension and the panel is in the process of reviewing that objection.
 Ultimately, if there is no finding of injury to the U.S. industry, or no Canadian lumber subsidy is found, the case against Canada is dropped.
 -0- 7/26/93
 /CONTACT: Mike Apsey, 604-684-0211, or Clare Lynam, 202-457-6382, both for the Canadian Forest Industries Council/


CO: Canadian Forest Industries Council; International Trade Commission ST: District of Columbia IN: PAP SU: EXE

TW -- DC028 -- 5921 07/26/93 17:22 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 26, 1993
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