Oregon mills claim Canadians drive down wood cost

AP News
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Posted: Dec 19, 2011 2:03 PM
Oregon mills claim Canadians drive down wood cost

When it comes to getting lumber off lots, bad grades are a good thing and U.S. mills say their Canadian counterparts are flunking on purpose.

The conflict is particularly pronounced at an Oregon mill, where owner Steve Swanson says underpriced Canadian wood is forcing him to lay off employees, the Roseburg News-Review reported ( http://bit.ly/t8zKSa).

The lumber is priced by grade. Mills in British Columbia claim a pine beetle infestation is affecting their harvest, forcing them to drop the price on lumber.

The issue is the subject of a trade complaint filed in international court.

U.S. officials say the Canadian lumber has cost stateside mills $499 million. The U.S. wants Canadian mills to pay higher export taxes.

Canadian mills disagree, and say they produce equivalent product with worse wood.