This is another story that won’t get much attention today, but really should:
Now a new study, obtained by The Globe and Mail, concludes the softwood lumber agreement has undermined the Canadian industry it was supposed to help.
Since the deal was signed in October of 2006, struggling B.C. forest companies have paid more than half a billion dollars in export taxes under the deal.
"The added taxes came at the worst possible time. With lumber prices plummeting due to a rapidly deteriorating U.S. housing market, B.C. forest companies were awash in red ink," wrote forestry analyst Ben Parfitt for the Canadian Centre of Policy Alternatives. "The result was numerous mill closures in B.C."
The amount paid in export taxes to date is still outweighed by the roughly $2.5-billion that B.C. forest companies received in cash when the deal was settled.
And what’s more, the “deal” makes it impossible for the sort of government aid that will eventually be extended to the auto sector to be offered to BC’s beleaguered forest industry without triggering another trade war.
This boondoggle just keeps getting better and better. Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers