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Comparative Views of Different Stumpage Pricing Systems: Canada and the United States

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Canada and the United States have many similarities, but major differences in the ownership and tenure of forestlands. These differences generate substantial differences in the way stumpage prices are determined in the two countries. These differences, including the argument that the absence of stumpages markets results in the de facto subsidization of Canadian stumpage prices, are used to justify the host of US trade restrictions on Canadian softwood lumber imports. This article examines the differences in the tenure systems. It cites the arguments commonly given in the dispute and draws out the implications of these systems on softwood resource prices. It discusses some studies, and alternative markets systems, currently under discussion to addresses the criticisms of the Canadian system and critiques one of the major proposals.

Keywords: Canada; Forest; US; international trade; markets; stumpage; tenure

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Roger A. Sedjo, Senior Fellow and Director of the Forest Economics and Policy Program, Resources for the Future, 1616 P Street NW, Washington, DC 20036—Phone: (202) 328-5065;, Fax: (202) 939-3460

Publication date: August 1, 2006

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