What's the upside of a mountain-pine-beetle infestation? United States trade official say it's the opportunity to use the bugs as a way of undercutting American lumber prices.
The Douglas County News Reviewreports today that tensions over the multi-billion-dollar logging industry and price manipulation have reached a fever pitch. American loggers say that their Canadian counterparts are using the aforementioned beetles as a reason to sell their lumber cheaper (and therefore sell more of it) even though the lumber often isn't damaged.
[Douglas County Mill owner Steve] Swanson chairs an industry group, the Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports, which argues Canada is violating the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement, which is intended to create free and fair trade between the two lumber-producing
. . . The coalition charges, and U.S. trade officials agree, that Canada is using a mountain pine beetle infestation as an excuse to underprice timber, giving B.C. mills an unfair advantage over their U.S. competitors.
Swanson puts the problem into simple terms, saying
"I can compete with any lumber company in the world, but I can't compete with the government of Canada."