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    National Manufactured Housing Group Joins Alliance Seeking to End U.S./Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement

    02/20/2001

    The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), which represents 40-plus small and medium producers of manufactured homes throughout the United States, has joined the American Consumers for Affordable Homes (ACAH), an ad-hoc alliance of 15 consumer groups, trade organizations and companies that represent more than 95 percent of softwood lumber consumption in the U.S. MHARR focuses on regulatory issues that impact the manufactured housing industry.
    ACAH supports an end to the U.S.-Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement of 1996
    (SLA) when it expires on April 1. The SLA restricts lumber shipments from Canada to the United States.
    "This misguided agreement has done damage to producers and increased costs to consumers of manufactured housing," said Danny D. Ghorbani, president and CEO, MHARR.
    "The restrictions the SLA places on softwood lumber coming into the United States is increasing prices of manufactured homes and keeping prospective buyers from purchasing a home," Ghorbani continued. "Many of these families are the young, elderly, and people trying to purchase their first home or one for retirement. While the SLA benefits a few special interests, it clearly is depriving too many people from the American Dream of home ownership." Ghorbani urged the government to allow the SLA to expire without any new agreement.
    "It has out-lived its usefulness," he charged. "This country thrives on free trade which creates more jobs and allows more people to benefit from a strong economy." Free trade with our neighbors in Canada should be our highest priority; free trade in products such as lumber is important to our economy."
    Other members of the ACAH include: Abitibi Consolidated Sales Corporation, CHEP USA, Citizens for a Sound Economy, Consumers for World Trade, Free Trade Lumber Council, Home Depot, International Mass Retail Association, Leggett & Platt Inc., Manufactured Housing Institute, National Association of Home Builders, National Black Chamber of Commerce, National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association, National Retail Federation, and the United States Hispanic Contractors Association.

    on 2/20/01.