Petitions to Restrict Canadian Lumber Imports Would Harm U. S. Consumers, Workers

* Proposed 78 Percent Tax on Lumber Imports to Consumers Called 'Ludicrous'

* Respondents From All Regions of U.S. to Represent Broad Opposition to

Petitions Being Examined at U.S. International Trade Commission Monday



Apr 22, 2001, 01:00 ET from American Consumers for Affordable Homes

    WASHINGTON, April 22 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- More than
 20 home builders, lumber dealers and other supporters of free trade and
 consumer interests testify tomorrow before the U.S. International Trade
 Commission (ITC) here, calling for the ITC to reject petitions that would
 impose a duty of as much as 78 percent on Canadian lumber coming into the
 United States.
     After the April 1 expiration of the U.S./Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement
 of 1996 (SLA), the Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports, a Washington, D.C.-based
 lobbying group, filed a countervailing duty petition on April 2 for an
 approximate 40 percent duty and an anti-dumping duty between 28 and
 38 percent.
     "Those presenting oral and written testimony before the ITC come from all
 regions of the country, representing the broad cross section of Americans who
 were harmed by the Softwood Lumber Agreement between the U.S. and Canada that
 expired April 1, and would continue to be hurt even more by these petitions,"
 said Susan Petniunas, spokesperson for the American Consumers for Affordable
 Homes (ACAH).  The ACAH is an alliance of 14-organizations, representing
 approximately 95 percent of softwood lumber use in the U.S.
     "Acceptance of the concepts in these petitions would be the equivalent of
 a 78 percent 'hidden' tax on consumers wanting to purchase a new home, remodel
 their home, or even buy a new bed," Petniunas continued. "That is ludicrous."
     More than 20 home builders and lumber dealers will present oral testimony
 or written statements tomorrow to the ITC, all opposing them.
     The petitions before the ITC would increase the cost of a new home by
 approximately $2,000-$4,000.  Based on earlier calculations by the U.S. Census
 Bureau, a price hike of such a magnitude could knock as many as 1.2 million
 households out of the market for purchasing a new home.
     "The ITC must listen to the needs of American consumers and workers, not
 just the desires of a few wealthy lumber mill owners," Petniunas said. "This
 is an issue that will impact home buyers and workers and their families all
 across the country. The impact on the economy could be disastrous."
     Approximately six million U.S. workers are involved in lumber-using
 businesses, including home builders, remodelers, lumber dealers, and
 industries like window and bed makers. Workers associated with the consumers
 of lumber outnumber lumber-producing workers by 25 to 1 in the United States.
     Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan testified earlier this month
 before the Senate Finance Committee that slowing economic growth could spawn
 protectionist measures in the form of countervailing and anti-dumping suits
 that are "unwise and surely self-defeating."
     "These forms of protection have often been imposed under the label of
 protecting 'fair trade,' but often times are just simple guises for inhibiting
 competition," Greenspan told the Committee. "If we were to move in the
 direction of protection, that could create some very significant problems for
 the American economy."
     According to ACAH, action urged in these petitions would have a number of
 negative impacts:
 
     *  Such a duty would raise the price of lumber by 33.2 percent, compared
        to the price under conditions of free trade. This price increase would
        cause U.S. consumption of softwood lumber to fall by 5.6 percent. U.S.
        softwood lumber production would increase by 13.3 percent.
 
     *  If the 78 percent duty of softwood lumber from Canada is put into
        effect, the cost to the American consumer will be $6.10 billion per
        year.  Of this, $4.02 billion will go to the U.S. lumber producers and
        the net loss to the U.S. economy will be $2.08 billion per year.
 
     *  A 78 percent duty on softwood lumber from Canada will add approximately
        $2,000 - $4,000 to the price of a new home.  As a result, many families
        will be unable to purchase a new home, causing a reduction in the
        number of housing starts in the U.S. and profound injury to the U.S.
        economy.
 
     *  A 78 percent duty on imports of Canadian lumber would reduce the level
        of imports by 34 percent.
 
     "These petitions are bad news for American consumers, American workers and
 the national economy," Petniunas said.
     ACAH members include CHEP USA, Citizens for a Sound Economy, Consumers for
 World Trade, Free Trade Lumber Council, The Home Depot, International Mass
 Retail Association, Leggett & Platt Inc., Manufactured Housing Association for
 Regulatory Reform, Manufactured Housing Institute, National Association of
 Home Builders, National Black Chamber of Commerce, National Lumber and
 Building Material Dealers Association, National Retail Federation, and the
 United States Hispanic Contractors Association.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -- Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X35894168
 
 

SOURCE American Consumers for Affordable Homes
    WASHINGTON, April 22 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- More than
 20 home builders, lumber dealers and other supporters of free trade and
 consumer interests testify tomorrow before the U.S. International Trade
 Commission (ITC) here, calling for the ITC to reject petitions that would
 impose a duty of as much as 78 percent on Canadian lumber coming into the
 United States.
     After the April 1 expiration of the U.S./Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement
 of 1996 (SLA), the Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports, a Washington, D.C.-based
 lobbying group, filed a countervailing duty petition on April 2 for an
 approximate 40 percent duty and an anti-dumping duty between 28 and
 38 percent.
     "Those presenting oral and written testimony before the ITC come from all
 regions of the country, representing the broad cross section of Americans who
 were harmed by the Softwood Lumber Agreement between the U.S. and Canada that
 expired April 1, and would continue to be hurt even more by these petitions,"
 said Susan Petniunas, spokesperson for the American Consumers for Affordable
 Homes (ACAH).  The ACAH is an alliance of 14-organizations, representing
 approximately 95 percent of softwood lumber use in the U.S.
     "Acceptance of the concepts in these petitions would be the equivalent of
 a 78 percent 'hidden' tax on consumers wanting to purchase a new home, remodel
 their home, or even buy a new bed," Petniunas continued. "That is ludicrous."
     More than 20 home builders and lumber dealers will present oral testimony
 or written statements tomorrow to the ITC, all opposing them.
     The petitions before the ITC would increase the cost of a new home by
 approximately $2,000-$4,000.  Based on earlier calculations by the U.S. Census
 Bureau, a price hike of such a magnitude could knock as many as 1.2 million
 households out of the market for purchasing a new home.
     "The ITC must listen to the needs of American consumers and workers, not
 just the desires of a few wealthy lumber mill owners," Petniunas said. "This
 is an issue that will impact home buyers and workers and their families all
 across the country. The impact on the economy could be disastrous."
     Approximately six million U.S. workers are involved in lumber-using
 businesses, including home builders, remodelers, lumber dealers, and
 industries like window and bed makers. Workers associated with the consumers
 of lumber outnumber lumber-producing workers by 25 to 1 in the United States.
     Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan testified earlier this month
 before the Senate Finance Committee that slowing economic growth could spawn
 protectionist measures in the form of countervailing and anti-dumping suits
 that are "unwise and surely self-defeating."
     "These forms of protection have often been imposed under the label of
 protecting 'fair trade,' but often times are just simple guises for inhibiting
 competition," Greenspan told the Committee. "If we were to move in the
 direction of protection, that could create some very significant problems for
 the American economy."
     According to ACAH, action urged in these petitions would have a number of
 negative impacts:
 
     *  Such a duty would raise the price of lumber by 33.2 percent, compared
        to the price under conditions of free trade. This price increase would
        cause U.S. consumption of softwood lumber to fall by 5.6 percent. U.S.
        softwood lumber production would increase by 13.3 percent.
 
     *  If the 78 percent duty of softwood lumber from Canada is put into
        effect, the cost to the American consumer will be $6.10 billion per
        year.  Of this, $4.02 billion will go to the U.S. lumber producers and
        the net loss to the U.S. economy will be $2.08 billion per year.
 
     *  A 78 percent duty on softwood lumber from Canada will add approximately
        $2,000 - $4,000 to the price of a new home.  As a result, many families
        will be unable to purchase a new home, causing a reduction in the
        number of housing starts in the U.S. and profound injury to the U.S.
        economy.
 
     *  A 78 percent duty on imports of Canadian lumber would reduce the level
        of imports by 34 percent.
 
     "These petitions are bad news for American consumers, American workers and
 the national economy," Petniunas said.
     ACAH members include CHEP USA, Citizens for a Sound Economy, Consumers for
 World Trade, Free Trade Lumber Council, The Home Depot, International Mass
 Retail Association, Leggett & Platt Inc., Manufactured Housing Association for
 Regulatory Reform, Manufactured Housing Institute, National Association of
 Home Builders, National Black Chamber of Commerce, National Lumber and
 Building Material Dealers Association, National Retail Federation, and the
 United States Hispanic Contractors Association.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -- Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X35894168
 
 SOURCE  American Consumers for Affordable Homes