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U.S., Canada Reach Lumber Deal

April 28, 2006|From the Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The United States and Canada announced an agreement Thursday to settle a drawn-out and heated trade battle over softwood lumber, a major home-building component.

The U.S. timber industry said it could support the accord, but Americans should not expect a price break from the deal when they pay for their new house.

The agreement was announced late Thursday at a joint U.S.-Canada news conference at the Canadian Embassy.

Canada's share of the U.S. market would not exceed 34%, according to the agreement. To protect American producers from a drop in prices, Canada would impose an export tax of as much as 15%, depending on the market price of lumber.

"This is all organized to keep competition down and prices high for U.S. producers," said Gary Hufbauer, an economist at the Institute for International Economics, a Washington think tank.

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