Proposal to slash tariffs

a proposal by the us to slash tariffs on paper, wooden furniture and other forest products worldwide will have little impact on the global timber harvest or the environment, a White House study said.

However, an analysis of the report by the office of the us Trade Representative and the White House Council on Environmental Quality has stated that in countries like Finland, the timber harvest is expected to increase sharply, while registering a decline in South Korea, France and Japan. The proposal is part of president Bill Clinton's Accelerated Tariff Liberalisation ( atl ) initiative, which has requested the World Trade Organisation to reduce tariffs on items as diverse as toys, jewellery, pulp, paper and prefab housing.

The White House study concluded that the proposed cuts would have little impact on timber harvests in most countries and might even hold benefits for the environment.

"The atl is likely to result in positive environmental changes by reducing the timber harvest in some countries,' the report said.