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NAFTA and the Timber Industry Per 4-5Over the past four hundred years or so timber has helped to fuel the economy of the United States of America Billions of dollars change hands every year on timber alone just from the United States producers and their counterpart retailers In the 1970s the United States was second on the list of the largest lumber producing countries in the world trailing only Russia We were the powerhouse when it came to timber production and we continued to be that way well into the 1980s During the 1980s the industry began to take on a new shape with one of our closest neighbors Canada discovering it had a vast supply of a natural resource which was quite marketable Canada soon took advantage of this and by the late 1980s exceeded the United States output per board feet by a few million board feet With Canada so close in proximity more and more of its lumber found its way into the United States This is not to say that Canada was not a major player in the market before it had just begun to maximize its potential in the American market This is also the most significant part of history in regards to the North American Free Trade Agreement NAFTA The emergence of Canada was due in part to the increasing number of United States regulations on the timber industry Clearcutting was a process of cutting down every tree in the area without leaving the unsalvageable trees This production process caused a spark of interest in several US organizations Clearcutting had raised the eyebrows of the proponents of the endangered species act because clearcutting was leading to the extinction of the spotted owl a species whose home was in the northwest region of the country home to many clearcutters Also the Environmental Protection Act EPA was putting increased pressure on policy makers to do something about the poor foresight of
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