For softwood lumber wonks only


The White House Office of Legal Counsel is a group of lawyers who work for the president and advise him and the executive agencies on legal issues. Their role came under scrutiny when certain individuals issued memos authorizing vast presidential powers in the war on terror, in particular with regard to authorizing aggressive interrogations which have since been called torture.

The OLC is now putting old memos up on the web, and today they have released one written in August 2006 to the lawyers  US Trade Representative concerning an issue in the softwood lumber dispute. Given how many lawyers have made careers off of this dispute, there’s got to be someone out there who will find this interesting.

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For softwood lumber wonks only

  1. So is this regarding the U.S. plans for the extra billion that Harper gifted to Bush to settle the softwood issue? (And I’ve always wondered about the interest – some of the four billion that we eventually got was sitting in the bank for 20 years. If we were entitled to five and took four just so Harper could say he solved the problem, there’s probably enormous amounts of Canadian interest that Harper just let them pocket, as well).

    • Actually, it looks like it’s another take on the plans.

      According to this memo, the US was preparing a settlement offer that would have given us the full 5 billion back, with a billion of that expected to be forfeited by the canadian lumber companies in exchange for immediate lump sum payments.

      That remaining billion was then to have been distributed by us to three areas, the Coalition for Fair Lumber, a binantional industry council, and things to benefit the United States in consultation with us.

      Instead, it looks like in his rush to capitulate when we’d already won, Stevie just took four billion and didn’t want to be bothered with all that tiresome other stuff of making sure Canada might see some sort of benefit from it.

      Thanks Steve!