BC Lumber Trade Council Hopeful for New SLA
Prince George, B.C. – While Federal officials from Canada and the United States have agreed to continue Softwood Lumber Agreement talks, the one year standstill period in the wake of the end of the Softwood Lumber Agreement with the U.S. is over.
Susan Yurkovich, President of the BC Lumber Trade Council (BCLTC) is hopeful a new deal can be reached soon “The BC Lumber Trade Council continues to believe that a new agreement, if properly designed, is in the best interests of producers, consumers, home builders and workers in the industry on both sides of the border. Completing a new agreement would also allow us to continue the important work being undertaken with the U.S. industry to jointly grow the market for wood products both domestically and internationally.”
Yurkovich says a new deal would avoid “another lengthy trade dispute that creates uncertainty, hurts consumers and producers, and impedes the growth of the North American market.” Having said that, Yurkovich says the BC Lumber Trade Council is prepared to defend the industry against possible trade actions launched by the U.S.”
BC stands the most to lose with the lack of an agreement as this province is the largest Canadian exporter of softwood lumber to the United States. Two major forestry players, Canfor and West Fraser, have positioned themselves well against any such trade dispute, as both have purchased lumber producing companies in the U.S.
The British Columbia Lumber Trade Council has been actively engaged for months working alongside the federal and provincial governments to support efforts to achieve a new softwood lumber agreement that can provide certainty and stability for lumber producers in both Canada and the U.S. To date, a new agreement has not been reached and we are now at the end of the standstill period.