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Contact: Jim Dyke 202-482-4883
Pat Kirwan 202-482-3809

Tuesday, April 3, 2001

G 01-18

U.S. SECRETARY OF COMMERCE DONALD L. EVANS ANNOUNCES
MONITORING OF SOFTWOOD LUMBER IMPORTS


Washington D.C.– U.S. Commerce Secretary Donald L. Evans today announced that the Commerce Department will be monitoring imports of softwood lumber from Canada for potential import surges.

"With the expiration of the Softwood Lumber Agreement, we are very concerned about the potential for excessive amounts of lumber crossing the border. I have expressed my concerns to Canadian Trade Minister Pettigrew, and informed him that we will be monitoring border traffic closely," said Evans.

Many U.S. lumber mills have expressed concern that with the expiration of the Softwood Lumber Agreement the U.S. market will be flooded with softwood lumber from Canada. Yesterday, in response to the expiration of the agreement, U.S. industry filed both countervailing and antidumping petitions against lumber from Canada.

"We will continue to consider a variety of options for monitoring softwood lumber imports," Evans said. "You can be sure that we will enforce our laws vigorously. We will take a serious look at any allegations of critical circumstances and take all steps to ensure effective and speedy relief."

Critical circumstances refers to a provision in trade laws that is designed to prevent import surges before dumping or countervailing duties are imposed.

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