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NAFTA The Timber Industry and Some Consequences Agricultural Trade PolicyINTRODUCTIONOver the past four hundred years or so timber has helped to fuel the economy of the UnitedStates of America Billions of dollars change hands every year on timber alone just from the UnitedStatess producers and their counterpart retailers In the 1970s the United States was second on thelist of the largest lumber producing countries in the world trailing only Russia by a few billion boardfeet per year We were the powerhouse when it came to timber production and we continued to be wellinto the 1980s During the 1980s the industry began to take on a new shape with one of our closest neighborsCanada 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 boardfeet by a few million board feet World Book Encyclopedia 1985 With Canada so close in proximity more and more of theirfound its way into the United States We are not saying that Canada was not a major player in themarket before it had just begun to maximize its potential in the American market This is also themost 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 onthe timber industry Clearcutting was a process of cutting down every tree in the area without leavingthe 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 actbecause clearcutting was leading to the extinction of the spotted owl a species whose home was in thenorthwest region of the country Newsweek April 95 home to many clearcutters Also the Environmental Protection Act EPA was putting increased pressure on policy makers to dosomething about
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