By Iris Richmond. An interesting coalition of companies, including Weyerhaeuser Co., Centex Homes, Pulte Homes, The Home Depot, and other forest products companies, has joined forces to actively oppose the International Trade Commission's (ITC) recent upholding of the countervailing duties and anti-dumping penalties placed on Canadian lumber.

Organized by Weyerhaeuser, the group quickly formed a "Friends and Allies" publicity campaign days after the ITC's May 3, 4-0 ruling. The NAHB says it has no "action plan" for the near term even though it also opposes the ITC decision.

The industry group's campaign publicly urges Canada and the United States to get back to the negotiating table, and President Bush and Prime Minister Chretien to lead both countries "to a permanent solution worthy of two great allies."

Ads, in billboard and publication form, are being dispersed throughout Washington, and newspaper ads are running in The Wall Street Journal and select Canadian publications. The ads say the penalties, "will no doubt hurt workers and companies in both countries. But just as importantly, they will hurt millions of consumers who want a warm, secure home built from these products ... ."

Weyerhaeuser declined to provide the costs of the ad campaign, which was developed internally. "Our near term strategy," says company spokesman Frank Mendizabel, "is to watch the situation as it develops, be flexible, and do what we think is appropriate to encourage talks to continue."

Published in BIG BUILDER Magazine, July 2002