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U.S. INDUSTRY REACTS TO DOC DECISION ON CANADA LUMBER SUBSIDIES

 U.S. INDUSTRY REACTS TO DOC DECISION ON CANADA LUMBER SUBSIDIES
 WASHINGTON, May 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Commenting on a U.S. Department of Commerce ruling that a 6.51 percent subsidy exists on Canadian lumber imports, the Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports said "the decision confirms the Coalition's analysis that timber subsidies continue to exist in Canada beyond the 15 percent that was offset by the Memorandum of Understanding."
 "These subsidies hamper U.S. sawmills' ability to compete in their own market," said C.T. (Kip) Howlett Jr., chairman of the Coalition. "It is a substantial rate for a commodity like lumber."
 Today's decision by the Commerce Department follows a preliminary ruling in March that a 14.48 percent subsidy exists on Canadian lumber.
 Howlett added, "The Coalition believes the Canadian subsidy is much larger than that found, and we will continue to seek solutions to the unfair competitive advantage Canadian imports hold."
 The Commerce Department self-initiated a countervailing duty investigation last fall after Canada withdrew from a Memorandum of Understanding that had imposed an export tax on Canadian softwood lumber. Last December, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled preliminarily that Canadian exports injured the U.S. industry. The ITC's final decision is expected June 26.
 "The Coalition is determined to ensure that the subsidies on Canadian lumber imports are fully offset one way or the other," said Howlett. "All we want is what U.S. law calls for -- a full recognition of and offset to the Canadian subsidy."
 Howlett said the U.S. industry is "confident" the final ITC decision will be favorable and a countervailing duty will be imposed. "Given the size of this subsidy and the nature of this commodity market, injury is clear," he said.
 The Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports is composed of lumber companies across the United States and the major U.S. lumber manufacturing associations. Member companies include Georgia-Pacific Corp., International Paper Co., Temple-Inland Inc. and Potlatch Corp. The two major forest industry labor unions, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters & Joiners of America and the International Woodworkers of America-U.S., also support Canadian subsidy offsets.
 -0- 5/15/92
 /CONTACT: Sheila Weidman of Georgia-Pacific, 404-521-4732; Tony Bennett of Temple-Inland, 409-829-1430; Diane Olberg of Potlatch Corp., 415-576-8826; James Foster of International Paper, 901-763-5985, or Patrick Wallace of Knapp, 404-688-1777, for Georgia- Pacific/ CO: Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports ST: District of Columbia IN: PAP SU:


BN-TG -- AT010 -- 1032 05/15/92 18:41 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 15, 1992
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