Using national forests to combat Canadian timber subsidies

The Missoulian reported today on the effects of the expiration of the Canadian trade agreement, which will make Canadian timber relatively cheaper than that from the U. S. because the industry is subsidized by the Canadian government.  The Montana Wood Products Association proposes, that until a new international trade agreement could be negotiated (whenever that may be):

“We need to ask what the Forest Service can do to bring down the cost of raw fiber.”

How would this be done?  (Voiding environmental laws anyone?)

4 thoughts on “Using national forests to combat Canadian timber subsidies”

  1. Obviously you don’t want the US consumer to have lower prices and you do want to further destroy the public trust resources of the average American citizen. Perhaps the billionaire owned timber industry in the US could lower their profits. Have you even contemplated that ? If the US timber industry doesn’t figure out pretty soon that their clearcutting and destruction of biodiverse forests is dangerous for the them and the rest of us it will be too late for us all. The elephant in the room is that non biodiverse tree evenaged tree plantations are a recipe for fire, water, wildlife and climate disaster. You are on the wrong side of history and insurance companies and banks will soon realize the industrial timber plantation assets – especially in the dry west – are full of huge liabilities and risks. Times are a changing. Yes we can have a healthy forest and harvest wood products but not in without robust protections for more valuable assets of air, climate, water and wildlife.

    • Higher priced imports and less cutting on the National Forests props up the prices of private domestic timber. We NEED prices of government timber to go up, so that we can apply those “profits” towards all the non-commercial needs of our public forests. It seems like anything we do is bad, in one way, or another. I’d be in favor of reducing or eliminating imported wood, as long as we can continue to supply our own needs. I’d also be in favor of the government milling their own timber, in a sustainable manner.

  2. Kind of a no-win.
    Losing the Chinese export boom, with the yuan devaluation, was bad news for BC in its program to capture value off the beetle disaster. Now they are going to turn around and pour whatever wood they can into a weak US market, which is really going to pound down R1 and R6 producers that don’t have much reserve left after 20 years of doom.
    Add to that the fact that cheap wood will generate screaming “below cost” hype from the usual suspects and the picture isn’t pretty.
    This is not good news — except maybe for REITs in other regions.

  3. Classic “race to the bottom.” If Canada is going to subsidize their timber industry by giving away virtually free licenses to log native forest, then the USFS must follow suit and give away more wood for cheaper.

    That’s no way to solve the problem.

    Hopefully the Canadian (and U.S.) election(s) will bring some sense to their government(s), so we can have sound forest conservation policies on both sides of the border. Not holding my breath however …


Leave a Comment