Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Broken deadlines

If anybody still harbored any thought that a Con-imposed deadline had any meaning, yet another fudged deadline on the softwood lumber capitulation should put that doubt to rest:
The federal government won't meet its self-imposed Oct. 1 deadline to implement the softwood lumber agreement with the United States, The Canadian Press has learned.

Sources say complications surrounding the withdrawal of more than 30 pieces of trade litigation, including resistance by some exporters to shelving their suits, make it unlikely a planned softwood border tax will start being levied as of Sunday.

The U.S. government demanded as part of the agreement that all trade litigation be withdrawn as a precondition for lifting punitive lumber duties...

If Ottawa moves ahead as planned and the U.S. duties remain in place, lumber shipments would find themselves facing a 15 per cent export tax as they leave Canada and a 10.8 per cent import duty when they cross into the United States.

A spokesman for International Trade Minister David Emerson won't not confirm that implementation was being postponed but says the government is working with the lumber industry to deal with what he called the complexities if (sic) implementing the agreement.
Not that it would be much of a surprise to see the Cons instead impose the export tax as well just to put the screws to the industry one more time. But lest there be any doubt, the Cons' attempt to pretend the capitulation is a done deal doesn't reflect the reality on the ground...which only leaves the question of just how much further the Cons will go in further trying to force the agreement on the companies who still recognize litigation to be the better option.

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