A 10 year old fights for Canada's rights!!!

Reply Fri 11 Nov, 2005 02:30 pm
MONTREAL (AFP) - A 10-year-old Canadian boy has called for a boycott of US fast food chain McDonald's in hopes of hastening an end to the deep rift over lumber trade between Canada and the United States.

Taking the trade impasse into his own hands is Luke McAndless of Vancouver, who along with a 13-year old friend -- and apparently some adults in the background -- launched his proposed one-day boycott on an internet website, www.wewantourmoneyback.ca. Laughing

His goal is to pressure the United States into repaying an estimated 4 billions dollars back to Canada. "We want our money back!," proclaims the website. "Yo yo yo, give us our dough," it says, asking readers to join the boycott starting December 3 and also to send a message to US President George W. Bush.

On October 5, a panel of the North American Free Trade Agreement ruled that the United States had unfairly levied duties on Canadian lumber and should repay the money.
But despite increasing Canadian government pressure to follow through on the ruling, Washington has balked, asking NAFTA for clarifications and for more time to consider its response.

Taking up the cause, McAndless has garnered support from the 340,000-member National Union of Public and General Employees, The National Post reported Friday.

McAndless told the newspaper that he chose McDonald's because it is a symbol of the United States, and also because the company is well-known among his fellow students.

A McDonald's spokesman regretted the boy's choice, emphasizing that Canada's McDonald's branches are mostly owned and managed by local people.

Note from Englishmajor: If Canada owed the US this much, the US would be dropping bombs on us or some other sanction. Why won't you honour your trade agreements, America? Shame on you. Twisted Evil
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Reply Fri 11 Nov, 2005 02:36 pm
Yeah, GWB is no Christian so he doesn't subscribe to 'love thy neighbor'.
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Reply Fri 11 Nov, 2005 02:41 pm
I'm all for boycotting McDonalds. They short changed me by $2.00 yesterday and refused believe me when I brought it to their attention. I'll never hand them a $20 bill on a $1.96 order again.

Don't know much about this situation though, but it seems to me at this point to be a difference of opinion and something that has not come to a conclusion based on Washington asking NAFTA for clarifications and time to consider a response. Seems like our government does not consider it a closed case yet. So before you complain too much, wait until you get a final response, then balk.
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Reply Fri 11 Nov, 2005 02:44 pm
He doesn't subscribe to NAFTA either. Why would other countries want to sign onto America's so called free trade? See how America screws everyone over? I know lots of guys out of work because of lumber mill closures. This is a very personal thing if you are Canadian. It has torn families apart, as anyone knows who has been laid off of a job for an extended time.

I doubt the Americans hear about the ruling being in Canada's favour. But then, you do still have free speech there do you not? Maybe if Americans boycotted McDonalds as well, it would send a message to King George.....

Well, harken America: Canada supplies 99% of US electricity, 94% of natural gas, 35% uranium used for power generation. Maybe it will be a cold winter for Americans, eh?
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Reply Fri 11 Nov, 2005 02:50 pm
Sure, Canada can play hardball. Personally, that is a better way of going about things than a boycott of McDonalds. As pointed out in your article, boycotting McDonald's does what? Nothing. Harms your own citizens since most McDonald's are locally owned. Doesn't hurt our government one bit. Nobody in Washington would notice a boycott of McD's.

Also, just at first glance, I doubt that Canada supplies 99% of US electricity. The other items I won't hazard a guess because I don't know. But to agree with that first one, you would have to provide proof for me.

Anyway, have a good day.
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Reply Fri 11 Nov, 2005 03:09 pm
Doubt away, Coastal Rat! Canadians supply 99% of US electricity imports. I'm sure you can google that yourself, but look it up on vive le canada site.
I will find the exact site if you like.
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Reply Fri 11 Nov, 2005 07:09 pm
The US is certainly using Canada as its resources base but abusing it could one day jeopardize that supply.
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Slappy Doo Hoo
Reply Fri 11 Nov, 2005 07:13 pm
The kid can do whatever the hell he wants, as long as the strip clubs are open when I visit Montreal.
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Reply Fri 11 Nov, 2005 07:39 pm
englishmajor wrote:
Canada supplies 99% of US electricity.....

CoastalRat wrote:
Also, just at first glance, I doubt that Canada supplies 99% of US electricity.

englishmajor wrote:
Doubt away, Coastal Rat! Canadians supply 99% of US electricity imports.

Oh, electricity imports. Okay, I can believe that. Of the electricity that is bought originating from outside the United States, whatever small percentage that is, 99% of it comes from Canada.

I think you will agree that is a far cry from saying Canada supplies 99% of US electricity.

Come to think of it, it is hard to imagine it being any other way, since to buy electricity from a nation, it has to be hooked up to the US' grid. I mean, how would the US buy electricity from Eastern Europe-boatloads of batteries? Very Happy
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Reply Fri 11 Nov, 2005 10:21 pm
Yes, but just think of the havoc we socialists could create if we decided not to import electricity. We'd be out the $$ from the imports, but the US would be out hydro (electricity)......I think it's a good bargaining tool, one of many.

Yeah, I can just see boatloads of batteries. Ha ha.

At any rate, the US DOES owe Canada the money. Bush is dragging his feet, hoping to try some more BSE scares, or SARS, or whatever, to scare us into submission. You know what the US does to countries who don't play ball!! Right now, our PM, Paul Martin, is doing the right thing. He is not backing down. And, why should he? There is no reason why the US should not abide by NAFTA rulings, except they simply don't want to. It is a legal ruling.

Did you know it's costing an average of $1000 more to build a new house in the US because of this? And with the hurricane ravages, I would think Americans would be interested in getting the best price for lumber......Bush is not doing any favours for the Americans, is he? Oh well, they are just peons to him.
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Reply Fri 11 Nov, 2005 10:24 pm
In the year 2000, US power plants produced about 3800 billion kilowatts of electricity.

The same year, the US imported 48.5 billion kilowatts of electricity from Canada. About 1.3 percent of the amount US power plants produced.

Canada might have accounted for 99% of US electrical power imports, but the amount of the imports was very small compared to what the US produces itself.
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Reply Fri 11 Nov, 2005 10:36 pm
Well, good. Then you can do without our imported hydro?

But where will you get 94% of natural gas imports. 17% of oil? 35% of uranium used for Homer Simpson power plants?

Consider, too that Canada is the number one customer of US corporations and has been for 48 years. We buy more goods and services from the US than all 15 European Union countries combined. US exports to Canada, plus their investment income from Canada exceed their income from any other country by an enormous $177 billion.

A proud, independent, self-confident Canada should be playing a much greater role in the United Nations, should be joining the post Cancun group of nations (China-our PM has signed on for mainly coal and lumber to China as of this post, India, Brazil, etc) to counter the WTO establishment vision of corp. globalization, step up foreign aid, support multilateral agreements to promote peace and disarmament, and should reject imperialiam in all its forms. And say so loud and clear and without reservation!
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Reply Fri 11 Nov, 2005 10:49 pm
To get back to the softwoods issue-- which the thread is about-- here is the following article from American Home Builders Assoc. Bush is really doing you favours isn't he?

Recent Customs Reclassifications of Softwood Products Previously Exempt from the SLA

Result Will Drive Up Home, Remodeling Costs to U.S. Consumers

- Adds $2,000 to $2,500 to average cost of home purchases
- Decision ignored Members of Congress, U.S. Consumer Groups, Associations

- Manufactured home could cost $7,000 more over life of mortgage

A decision, implemented on 8/9/99 by the U.S. Customs Service to reclassify two more lumber products, formerly exempted from the U.S.-Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA), will further escalate the cost of homes as new tariffs are passed on to U.S. homebuyers, homeowners and other consumers, according to American Consumers for Affordable Homes (ACAH). The SLA was signed in 1996 between the U.S. and Canada to give a five-year truce in the battles over lumber products between the two countries.

Customs announced last May it would reclassify rougher headed lumber and notched studs, forcing them into the current quotas which control the amount of softwood lumber Canada can sell to the U.S. The two products had been exempt from the quota, and the reclassification will mean that duties will now have to be paid on the products or those products will be shipped in lieu of other products covered in the original agreement. Customs delayed implementation in May after several members of Congress expressed concern about the impact of the decision, but despite continued opposition moved ahead on the reclassifications.

Among those urging U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers to intervene and delay the implementation of reclassifications were more than 30 Members of the Senate and House of Representatives, both Democrats and Republicans, from across the U.S.

In a joint letter to Summers, Sens. Edward Kennedy and John Kerry, and Rep. Joe Moakley, all of Massachusetts, cited the cost of housing as "reaching historic heights ┬ůSubjecting the (wood) product to higher tariffs would necessarily increase the price of a new home, sending us in the wrong direction."

"Over the past year we have seen lumber prices rise to over $475 per 1,000 board feet, compared to under $350 per 1,000 board feet last year at this time," said Charles Ruma, National Home Builders Association 1999 president. "This increase adds about $2,000 to $2,500 to the cost of a new home, and that doesn't include the cost of higher taxes, mortgage payments and insurance associated with a higher priced home. It is the consumer who ends up holding the tab while a small group of U.S. producers keep pressuring Customs to add more products to the original softwood agreement. This is wrong."

It is estimated that another 20 exempted products could be considered for reclassification by Customs, ACAH said.

Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-AZ), chairman of the House Treasury Appropriations Subcommittee, and Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), ranking subcommittee Democrat, told Summers: "If there are questions about the classification of these wood products, they should be addressed when the U.S.-Canadian Softwood Lumber Agreement is up for renegotiations in 2001."

The World Customs Organization (WCO) advised Customs, in a letter last winter, that it would be inappropriate to reclassify drilled studs, another previously exempt product that Customs was forcing it into the quota. But Customs made the decision anyway and kept the document secret until after the reclassification was challenged in court when it was leaked to media. That case is still in the courts. In May, the reclassification issue was again formally reviewed by the WCO, which voted 21 to 1 against the U.S. efforts to sweep a previously exempted product into the current agreement. WCO noted that the U.S did not meet the standards used by more than 170 countries to classify products. Customs is asking for yet another review of that decision at an October WCO meeting.

"We believe it is highly unlikely - if not impossible - for the U.S. to think it can change 21 other countries' points of view on this issue, and it should have not moved forward on these reclassifications," said Susan Petniunas, spokesperson for the Alliance. "The entire reclassification process makes a mockery of the Softwood Lumber Agreement and is especially troubling in light of the World Customs Organization position on drilled studs."
Robert J. Verdisco, president of the International Mass Retail Association (IMRA) said, "We are very concerned about the U.S. Customs Service overstepping its bounds and reclassifying these two products, especially after the World Customs Organization ruled that the first reclassification on drilled studs was incorrect. Who's to say the reclassifications will stop with these products? Customers rely on IMRA's members to provide every day low prices for home building and improvement, and the price increases that will result from the reclassifications will surely be passed on to the consumer."

Fine grain Cedar rougher headed lumber, which is not readily available in the U.S., is used in fascia and other exterior applications, not for structural building properties. Notched lumber is used extensively in the construction of manufactured housing.

"The impact of this reclassification on manufactured homes will be significant," said Chris Stinebert, president of the Manufactured Housing Institute. "Manufactured homes are one of the most important products for first-time home buyers, and even small increases in cost means the difference in their ability to own their own home." It is estimated that over the life of a mortgage for a $40,000 manufactured home, the reclassifications and agreement could add up to $7,000 more.

Doreen Brown, president of Consumers for World Trade, said: "Customs' reclassifications of rougher headed and notched lumber is bad news for house buyers who will be faced with even higher prices because of new tariffs. Consumers have already suffered the inflationary effects of the Softwood Lumber Agreement."

ACAH had urged Summers to delay the implementation of the reclassification until legislative challenges were exhausted or the agreement ends.

"Treasury's excuse that to delay was not legal is ridiculous," said Allynn Howe, vice president, government affairs for the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association. "They already delayed the implementation once this summer, and there is plenty of legal precedent to support continued delays until court appeals on drilled studs and the WCO review are both completed. Customs just caved in to pressure from the small group of U.S. forest owners in the Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports (CFLI), all of whom are making out like bandits at the consumer's expense."

CFLI is a heavily financed lobbying group representing a handful of producers in the U.S. who for years have successfully pressured the government to block imports from Canada. According to lobbying disclosures, Dewey Ballantine, CFLI's lobbying firm, spent millions of dollars lobbying this issue over the past several years for member companies: Georgia-Pacific, International Paper, Temple-Inland, Potlatch and Sierra Pacific. "They claim the list is longer, but keep it secret and do not include other companies in their filings," Howe added.

ACAH was formed recently because of the significant effect of the Softwood Lumber Agreement between the U.S. and Canada on housing affordability, trade restrictions, market volatility, supply of product, and jobs throughout the U.S. The alliance is committed to take the issue directly to consumers and Congress. The Alliance includes diverse groups representing consumers and constituents such as the National Retail Federation, Consumers for World Trade, National Association of Homebuilders, International Mass Retail Association, National Lumber Material Building Dealers Association, Manufactured Housing Institute and others representing remanufacturers, affordable housing groups, consumers, and advocates for free trade.

The ad-hoc alliance supports free trade in lumber between the U.S. and Canada upon termination of the current Agreement in 2001. The alliance aggressively opposes efforts by Customs to reclassify exempted wood products, forcing them into the currently restrictive quotas, thus making the impact of the Agreement on homeowners and consumers even more significant.

Laughing s'ok, Canada has signed a deal with China to sell lumber. Keep shootin yer selves in the foot, America......we'll do just fine up in the northwoods. America needs to remember something: you rely heavily on goods and services from other countries and produce very little yourselves. You outsource. What will you do when those countries no longer want to do business with America because Americans don't uphold agreements - like NAFTA? Or can't pay back the 200 Billion they owe to China? Hmmmm?
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