Contact FreedomWorks

400 North Capitol Street, NW
Suite 765
Washington, DC 20001

  • Toll Free 1.888.564.6273
  • Local 202.783.3870
Paul Beckner Letter to House of Representatives to Support Trade Promotion Authority
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW
Press Release

Paul Beckner Letter to House of Representatives to Support Trade Promotion Authority

Dear Representative: Free trade between nations is the lifeblood of economic growth. Industry and agriculturalists benefit from an expanded market for their goods, while consumers enjoy a greater and more diverse supply of goods. For the past 17 years, Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) has been the voice of consumers for free trade. We believe that Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) is a power the president absolutely must have to open borders and benefit consumers.

06/21/2001
Miller And Miller Introduce Legislation Endorsed By Sugar Reform Coalition
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW

Miller And Miller Introduce Legislation Endorsed By Sugar Reform Coalition

Reps Dan Miller And George Miller today introduced legislation intended to reform the Federal sugar program. The bill is similar to HR 1850 introduced by Dan Miller in the last Congress, which gained 73 cosponsors but failed to make it out of committee. The legislation would gradually reduce the sugar program's price support until it was eliminated in the year 2004. It would require that all loans made by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to sugar producers must be repaid. Finally, it would assure an adequate supply of sugar to the U.S. market at prices no higher than the world price of sugar or the loan rate in effect for that year. The Coalition for Sugar Reform (CSR) , an "organization of 18 consumer, taxpayer advocacy, environmental and business groups" endorsed the legislation. Larry Graham, Chairman of the CSR Steering Committee and President of the Chocolate Manufacturers Association, said that any reform of the sugar program "should contain four key parts: first, reform should secure adequate supplies for consumers, industrial users and cane refiners; second, reform should accommodate our present and future international trade obligations that provide market access for imports; third, reform should remove the current economic incentives for overproduction; and finally, reform should allow market prices to trade below support levels when market forces dictate." The membership of the Coalition for Sugar Reform includes: American Bakers Association, Americans for Tax Reform, Chocolate Manufacturers Association, Citizens for a Sound Economy, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers for World Trade, Citizens Against Government Waste, Everglades Trust, Friends of the Earth, Grocery Manufacturers of America, Independent Bakers Association, International Dairy Foods Association, National Audubon Society, National Confectioners Association, Taxpayers for Common Sense, United States Cane Sugar Refiners' Association, U.S. Public Interest Research Group, and World Wildlife Fund.

06/06/2001
Government Urged Not to Ignore -and to Value Fairly -Interests of U.S. Consumers, Workers as Canadian Lumber Trade Restr…
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW

Government Urged Not to Ignore -and to Value Fairly -Interests of U.S. Consumers, Workers as Canadian Lumber Trade Restr…

Even though the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) today voted to allow countervailing duty and antidumping petitions on Canadian softwood lumber imports into the U.S. to move forward, the concerns of millions of American consumers and workers must be the primary concern as the U.S. government deals with antidumping and countervailing duty issues in the coming months, said the American Consumers for Affordable Homes (ACAH), a 15-member alliance representing consumer groups, home builders and lumber dealers. "We are confident that in the long run the concerns of American consumers and more than 6 million U.S. workers in the homebuilding and related sectors will be considered," said Susan Petniunas, ACAH spokesperson. "If they are fairly evaluated, any attempts to impose future trade restraints on Canadian softwood lumber will end, and there will be free trade between our two countries for these products. Today's decision to continue the investigations is unfortunate." Two days after the U.S./Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA) expired on March 31, the Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports, a Washington, D.C.-based lobbying firm representing some U.S. lumber producers, filed countervailing duty and antidumping petitions. If the orders are imposed, they would result in a hidden tax on lumber amounting to up to 78 percent. Today's preliminary action by the ITC allows the investigations to move forward and receive further consideration by the Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission (in the final phase of the Commission's injury investigation). "U.S. trade law sets a very low threshold for cases to move on to the next phase of consideration. While we are disappointed with the outcome, it was not unanticipated," Petniunas said. "We believe that it was a wrong decision, however." "The expiration of the SLA was a tremendous boost to the interests of American consumers and workers," said Petniunas. "It's essential that those interests are fairly evaluated and receive due consideration as this case moves forward." If orders are imposed, they could raise the cost of a typical new home by $2,000-$4,000, according to the ACAH. U. S. Census Bureau calculations indicate that an increase of this magnitude could drive nearly 1.2 million households out of the housing market each year. "Such action would have the most severe impact on the young, the elderly, and the less-wealthy," said Petniunas. "These people are likely to be deprived of the American dream of home ownership if these petitions are upheld." ACAH also explained that the investigations could impact thousands of American jobs. "U.S. workers who use softwood lumber in their employment outnumber those in the United States who supply lumber by 25 to 1," Petniunas said. "Placing a duty or tax on softwood lumber coming into the United States will negatively impact these workers and their families." In addition to the damage such results would have on individuals, enactment is likely to harm the national economy. "Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan recently testified before the Senate Finance Committee that slowing economic growth could spawn protectionist measures in the form of countervailing and antidumping suits that are 'unwise and surely self-defeating,'" said Petniunas. "The ITC in its final ruling and the Commerce Department will serve the interests of U.S. consumers, workers, and the national economy by rejecting the protectionist arguments in these petitions," Petniunas predicted. ACAH members include CHEP USA, Citizens for a Sound Economy, Consumers for World Trade, Free Trade Lumber Council, The Home Depot, International Mass Retail Association, International Sleep Products Association, Leggett & Platt Inc., Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform, 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.

05/16/2001
Petitions to Restrict Canadian Lumber Imports Would Harm U. S. Consumers, Workers
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW

Petitions to Restrict Canadian Lumber Imports Would Harm U. S. Consumers, Workers

WASHINGTON, April 22 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/--More than 20 home builders, lumber dealers and other supporters of free trade and consumer interests testify tomorrow before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) here, calling for the ITC to reject petitions that would impose a duty of as much as 78 percent on Canadian lumber coming into the United States. After the April 1 expiration of the U.S./Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement of 1996 (SLA), the Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports, a Washington, D.C.-based lobbying group, filed a countervailing duty petition on April 2 for an approximate 40 percent duty and an anti-dumping duty between 28 and 38 percent. "Those presenting oral and written testimony before the ITC come from all regions of the country, representing the broad cross section of Americans who were harmed by the Softwood Lumber Agreement between the U.S. and Canada that expired April 1, and would continue to be hurt even more by these petitions," said Susan Petniunas, spokesperson for the American Consumers for Affordable Homes (ACAH). The ACAH is an alliance of 14-organizations, representing approximately 95 percent of softwood lumber use in the U.S. "Acceptance of the concepts in these petitions would be the equivalent of a 78 percent 'hidden' tax on consumers wanting to purchase a new home, remodel their home, or even buy a new bed," Petniunas continued. "That is ludicrous." More than 20 home builders and lumber dealers will present oral testimony or written statements tomorrow to the ITC, all opposing them. The petitions before the ITC would increase the cost of a new home by approximately $ 2,000-$ 4,000. Based on earlier calculations by the U.S. Census Bureau, a price hike of such a magnitude could knock as many as 1.2 million households out of the market for purchasing a new home. "The ITC must listen to the needs of American consumers and workers, not just the desires of a few wealthy lumber mill owners," Petniunas said. "This is an issue that will impact home buyers and workers and their families all across the country. The impact on the economy could be disastrous." Approximately six million U.S. workers are involved in lumber-using businesses, including home builders, remodelers, lumber dealers, and industries like window and bed makers. Workers associated with the consumers of lumber outnumber lumber-producing workers by 25 to 1 in the United States. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan testified earlier this month before the Senate Finance Committee that slowing economic growth could spawn protectionist measures in the form of countervailing and anti-dumping suits that are "unwise and surely self-defeating." "These forms of protection have often been imposed under the label of protecting 'fair trade,' but often times are just simple guises for inhibiting competition," Greenspan told the Committee. "If we were to move in the direction of protection, that could create some very significant problems for the American economy." According to ACAH, action urged in these petitions would have a number of negative impacts:

04/22/2001
Consumer Group Applauds Expiration of Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA)
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW

Consumer Group Applauds Expiration of Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA)

The American Consumers for Affordable Homes (ACAH), a 14-member alliance of consumer groups, home builders, and lumber dealers, applauded the U.S. and Canadian governments for allowing the U.S./Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement of 1996 (SLA) to expire at midnight last night. However, ACAH members today called for vigilance against any new proposals that would harm American consumers. "The quota system under the SLA amounted to a hidden lumber tax on U.S. lumber consumers and lumber-using industries. Its demise is long overdue," said Susan Petniunas, ACAH spokesperson. "However, we must be watchful in the that pressures from U.S. protectionist lumber producers on the Bush administration and Congress do not result in re-imposing yet another hidden tax on homebuyers and the U.S. consumer through some new trade restraint." "Unfortunately, we may face the inevitable uncertainty that will come if this issue is adjudicated by the International Trade Commission when U.S. lumber producers seek a countervailing duty (CVD) or other trade restraint," the ACAH said in a letter sent today to the President and Bush administration and members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. The ACAH believes that action under existing U.S. trade law is the only appropriate course for addressing the lumber industry's complaints. U.S. lumber producers have tried three times before to prove their case and such legal processes are a better and more fair option for consumers than arbitrary quotas, export taxes, or other such trade restraints. Due to the quota on Canadian lumber coming into the United States, the SLA raised the cost of a new home by about $1,000. The U.S. Census Bureau has estimated a price increase of that magnitude results in approximately 300,000 families not qualifying for a mortgage each year. The consumer alliance called upon Senators and Representatives to continue to support two bipartisan resolutions urging free trade and no new trade restraint on lumber: H. Con. Res. 45 was introduced in the House by Representatives Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) and Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and now has approximately 75 co-sponsors; S. Con. Res. 4 has 10 co-sponsors in the Senate. These resolutions express Congressional support for free trade of softwood lumber between the United States and Canada, inclusion of all stakeholders in discussions regarding trade of softwood lumber, and a competitive North American market for softwood lumber," the letter read. "Further, these resolutions outline the negative impact of the SLA on housing affordability in America and that there should be no renegotiation of trade restraints -- it is time for free trade." "Softwood lumber has a huge impact on the U.S. economy. The home building sector is responsible for employing more than six million workers," the letter continues. "The economic health of this nation relies on a strong housing market and the ability to provide the American dream of home ownership. The ACAH encourages (members of Congress) to consider the needs of prospective homebuyers -- and those who are remodeling or adding to their homes-throughout the country on issues related to softwood lumber trade between the U.S." ACAH members include CHEP USA, Citizens for a Sound Economy, Consumers for World Trade, Free Trade Lumber Council, The Home Depot, International Mass Retail Association, Leggett & Platt Inc., Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform, 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.

04/01/2001
The Case for Open Global Capital Markets
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW
Press Release

The Case for Open Global Capital Markets

ABSTRACT: With the recent push towards globalization, restricting capital flow and the role of the International Monetary Fund have been hotly debated. Restricting capital flows has negative effects on both the investors and the receivers of the capital. With diminished access to capital, entreprenuers in less developed countries have difficulty getting started, thus depriving society of the benefits of new businesses. Improved capital flow would increase productivity, lessens risks of investment, stabilizes economies, and improves standards of living. The IMF’s role also needs to decrease to achieve a more efficient global economy. In the past, it has consistently bailed out international investors that make poor decisions, and it fails to sufficiently encourage economic reforms. Removal of the IMF as a ‘lender of last resorts’ would encourage more efficient use of capital and investments. It would also encourage countries not getting much investment to reform their system, creating a better environment for investment, and consequently promoting economic growth. Through a global capital market, the world can experience massive economic growth, improving the situations of people in all countries.

03/15/2001
Bipartisan Group of Representatives Re-Introduces Resolution to End Softwood Lumber Agreement
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW

Bipartisan Group of Representatives Re-Introduces Resolution to End Softwood Lumber Agreement

Forty-nine members of Congress, led by Congressmen Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) and Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD), today, introduced a concurrent resolution calling for the end of the U.S./Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement of 1996 (SLA) when it expires on April 1 of this year. The House Concurrent Resolution (bill number to be assigned later today) calls for the termination of the SLA "with no extension or further quota agreement." It is patterned after a similar resolution introduced in the last session of Congress, which gained 119 House sponsors. The SLA was signed in 1996 to restrict lumber shipments from Canada to the U.S. It is opposed by a growing list of consumer groups, trade organizations, and companies. Opponents have formed an ad-hoc alliance, American Consumers for Affordable Homes (ACAH), which represents more than 95 percent of U.S. softwood consumption. Industries that depend on lumber as an input and that oppose import restrictions include: manufacturers of value-added wood products, lumber dealers, home builders and remodeling contractors. These industries employ more than 6.5 million workers. Congressmen Kolbe and Hoyer, the resolution's chief sponsors, charged that the SLA is hurting Americans who are seeking to enter the housing market. "The Softwood Lumber Agreement has had an adverse impact on the U.S. economy," Kolbe said. "While it panders to a few special interests, it is devastating to consumers, particularly, young American families trying to purchase their first home. By restricting the supply of finished lumber, it artificially and unnecessarily raises the average cost of a new home by up to $1,000. For many young couples starting a new family, that can be the difference between being able or unable to make a down payment on a home or qualify for a home mortgage." With the $1,000 price increase, approximately 300,000 families, an estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau, are unable to qualify for a mortgage, preventing then from buying their first home. "The U.S. Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement of 1996 was intended to provide free trade, however it apparently has had the opposite effect, said Representative Hoyer. This agreement is directly affecting consumers by increasing marketplace volatility for consumers of lumber products," Hoyer went on to say. In addition to the House action, a bipartisan group of U. S. Senators introduced Senate Con. Res. 4 two weeks ago, calling for termination of the SLA.

02/28/2001
National Manufactured Housing Group Joins Alliance Seeking to End U.S./Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW

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

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.

02/20/2001
America’s Record Trade Deficit
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW
Press Release

America’s Record Trade Deficit

ABSTRACT FROM CATO

02/09/2001
Bipartisan Group Re-Introduces Senate Resolution Calling For End to Quotas on Lumber From Canada
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW

Bipartisan Group Re-Introduces Senate Resolution Calling For End to Quotas on Lumber From Canada

The following has been announced today by American Consumers for Affordable Homes:

01/30/2001

Pages