WHEREAS, The United States Conference of Mayors has long been on record in support of free trade; and

WHEREAS, the 27.22 percent combined countervailing and anti-dumping duties imposed on softwood lumber imports to the United States, principally from communities in Western Canada, threaten to undermine the strongest free trade relationship our nation enjoys anywhere in the world; and

WHEREAS, communities in British Columbia are resource-based and are suffering devastating job losses, curtailed investment and reduced mill production as a result of reduced sales of framing lumber to U.S. builders; and

WHEREAS, costs of lumber in the United States are expected to rise sharply as a result of these duties-at a time when the housing market is leading the economic recovery in the United States and housing production is just now beginning to relieve the shortage of affordable workplace housing in our metropolitan areas,

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors urge the United States government to work quickly with Canada and/or the World Trade Organization to find a solution to the softwood lumber dispute with Canada, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this resolution and the letter sent by the Union of British Columbia Mayors, dated June 6, 2002, be forwarded to the U.S. Trade Representative and to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce upon adoption.