Mexican Cement and Canadian Softwood Lumber – A tale of two trade disputes

Dallas Morning News | Business Columnist Jim Landers
Two of the oldest trade feuds with our neighbors are over building materials. We’ve fought with Mexico since 1990 over low-price imports of cement. We’ve fought with Canada even longer over low-price lumber.

Building materials costs are soaring, which undercuts arguments that Canadian and Mexican producers are exporting at fire-sale prices. The Gulf Coast is only beginning to rebuild after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. President Bush meets his counterparts from Mexico and Canada at the end of the month in Cancún.

So are those reasons enough for a truce?

For cement – yes. For lumber – well, even an optimist would say no more than maybe.

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