Department

Ranticles: "Thieving Liars"

By Canticle

RanticlesCanada is suspending softwood lumber talks with the United States to protest America's refusal to heed a NAFTA panel ruling that sided with the Canadian position.

A Monday meeting that had been scheduled to start the next round of talks in the dispute has been cancelled.

Last week, a NAFTA panel dismissed Washington's claims that Canadian softwood exports are subsidized and damage the U.S. lumber industry.

Canada immediately called on Washington to return about $5 billion in countervail and anti-dumping duties collected from Canadian companies.

The Americans refused, saying the ruling didn't end the matter because it did not deal with a 2004 decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission which supported the American case.

Anyone with a Free Trade deal with the US, THIS is what you deal with under the Bush Regime. Thieves and liars. It's like trading with the mafia. Trade with us, or we break your legs. Oh, and if you don't trade with us, we'll break your legs anyway.

Do you know what the US Government does with that $5 billion (and before taxpayers in the US rejoice about it, listen up good)? They give it to the companies in the US that compete with Canadian companies. They don't consider that illegal subsidies though, even though that stolen money (and that's precisely what an illegal tariff is, theft) was provided by the companies in Canada the companies in the US trade with.

As for the US International Trade Commission...duh, of course they support the US case. It's complete bollocks. NAFTA is the treaty under which this is covered, the US needs to cope with the fact they are in the wrong.

I hope the Canadian government takes an even more hardline stance than simply canceling talks (why talk, the US is in the wrong, they should do what they demand, whine, moan, cry, complain and wheedle about all the time, for countries to heed their trade agreements). I hope they slap export duties on every drop of oil and natural gas that crosses the border, every watt of electricity we deliver.

I hope they turn the lights off in every US state that continues to refuse to pay their bills. Between softwood lumber, cattle, and wheat, I hope to God that Canada continues to find trade elsewhere in the world. Thankfully, last months trade numbers were a good sign on that. Our exports to all nations other than the US rose, while it declined to the US. Even with that decline, we had record trade surplus numbers, which indicates foreign markets continue to buy more, making up the difference with what we aren't trading with the US. Here's hoping that trend continues in spades.

Bear in mind, I don't agree with all the practices of the Canadian forestry industry by any stretch of the imagination, but I also don't agree with nations refusing to honour their agreements just because they don't feel like doing it.

Canticle on August 14, 2005.