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Historical Origin, Evolution, And Current Reality Of The Lumber Dispute Essay

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Canada and the United States have always shared a familial relationship both politically and economically. The transfer of capital, labour and market between these two has been entrenched and institutionalized on many levels throughout their history. Despite such positive relations, one particular sector of the economy has undergone intense scrutiny and friction, which is that of the softwood lumber trade. Since the 1980’s this has been a hotly-contested and debated issue between the two economies, with both sides sharing perspectives of indifference constantly. Both nations share a large geographical land area that allows them to export lumber en masse globally, but particular arguments have revolved around the practices of both opposing sides in their trade with one another. This paper’s aim is to produce an analysis on the historical origin, evolution, and current reality of the lumber dispute today. From the U.S perspective of industry representatives, the softwood lumber dispute rests largely on the arguments of stumpage fees and the amount of publically owned lands for harvestable timber for either nation. Specifically speaking, the Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports claims that both levels of Canadian government subsidize the softwood lumber industry by placing stumpage fees below the general market value. What this ultimately comes down to is the fact that ninety-five percent of their harvestable timber is owned by the Crown. From this, the industry itself is
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