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TRADE GROUP DISAPPOINTED AT CHANDLER, DICKS, GORTON EXPORT BAN BILL

TRADE GROUP DISAPPOINTED AT CHANDLER, DICKS, GORTON EXPORT BAN BILL
 OLYMPIA, Wash., Jan. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- "Disappointing, unnecessary and potentially harmful," said Washington Citizens for World Trade Executive Director Nick Kirkmire, in response to today's announcement by congressmen Rod Chandler and Norman Dicks and Sen. Slade Gorton that they intend to introduce a bill to ban the last 25 percent of log exports from Washington state lands.
 "We're disappointed with this step. The ink has barely dried on the law they wrote restricting 75 percent of state log exports. The decision they are trying to override -- where the Secretary of Commerce followed their law to the letter -- is exactly what, 18 months ago, they said they wanted: a supply and demand-based, factual decision. Now that the facts don't support their views, they want to change the rules.
 "We must remember," Kirkmire said, "this unnecessary final ban hurts our state school construction fund. The existing ban is already likely to cost the Washington taxpayers about $120 million a year that was previously paid by overseas customers. Now, obviously, that cost will be even higher. In addition, the ban is not saving Washington jobs. Oregon mills have purchased 12 percent of the export-restricted state log volume sold to date.
 "Finally, this bill risks becoming a target for an expanded export ban aimed at our state's 30,000 private tree farmers," Kirkmire said. "This state's timber crisis is caused by congressional failure to balance environmental and harvest issues on our National Forests -- not by log export activity that is shrinking anyway. And taking money out of our taxpayers' pockets, while risking a runaway bill that ends up attacking the private property rights of this state's tree farmers is going backwards -- not forward -- to a real timber solution.
 "In time," Kirkmire said, "increased demand for forest products could trigger an administrative ban under existing law, without this rush or risk."
 -0- 1/30/92
 /CONTACT: Nick Kirkmire of Washington Citizens for World Trade, 206-786-1770/ CO: Washington Citizens for World Trade ST: Washington IN: PAP SU: LEG


LM-SC -- SE015 -- 5506 01/30/92 17:28 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 30, 1992
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