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October 27, 2017 8:07 pm

Province and Lumber Industry Optimistic of a Win in Trade Dispute

Friday, November 25, 2016 @ 1:47 PM

Prince George, B.C.-  While the U.S. Lumber Lobby has filed a petition calling for tariffs on Canadian softwood  lumber,  the Province of B.C and the BC Lumber Trade Council have confidence  that Canada will,  once again,  win the battle.

The U.S. Lumber Lobby filed a petition today,  a document that is in excess  of 400 pages,  with the United States Department of Commerce.  It will have 20  days to review the materials  filed,  then the  United States International Trade Commission will review the documents  “And we  expect  in the coming weeks, they will then  make their determination on how to proceed” says Advanced Education Minister  Andrew Wilkinson,  acting on behalf of  Minister of Forests Steve Thomson who is in Japan on a trade mission.

Wilkinson says while it would be  speculative to  anticipate their conclusions, “None the less,  we are prepared to   stand by  our forest industry which is highly  competitive  and thrives on a market based economy.”

It is expected the petition will  claim  the Canadian producers  are subsidized and that they have been dumping  product in the U.S.

So  with  the Trump  administration,  which has been  openly hostile to trade issues, ready  to  move into the White House,   will  this  litigation  be tougher?   Not necessarily  says  Susan Yurkovich,  President of the BC Lumber Trade Council “I think it’s important to remember the Softwood Lumber dispute   between Canada and the U.S. is a dispute that has gone  on over many years, over 30 years.  So this is a dispute  that has been through  Democratic and Republican administrations and so,   yes,  we do  have a new President-Elect  , but this isn’t something we haven’t faced with a Democratic administration as well.”

Yurkovich  says it’s too  early to say what the impact to the industry will be “We have to wait and see how this will play out.  There’s still  an opportunity to continue to have dialogue between the Government of Canada and the U.S. Trade representatives office towards achieving  an agreement.  we will have to see what the  duties are in place before we can fully understand what the  full impact  to  the industry is.”

The lumber landscape has changed since the  Softwood Lumber Agreement was first put in place years ago.  Many of the major  B.C. lumber players have  obtained assets in the U.S.,   a move Yurkovich says may be beneficial “We  know a lot more about the industry in the U.S.  We know  about  their cost structures because we have companies operating there  which gives us  confidence that the allegations  on subsidies are just false.”

The Canadian  companies  with  assets in the U.S.   are not members of the U.S. Lumber Lobby.





Canadian companies with assets in the US not members od the US lumber Lobby”” Bull Shit”” through subsidiaries yes and the fact they still gain in the end as the lobby is for all US industry’s as happened in the last trade giveaway they all benefited and we got shafted as they bought even more mills with moneys returned plus what they got on the US side.

Same story. Just goes round and round. It’s the workers that suffer in the end.

    The ‘WORKERS’ are being displaced regardless. Each new mill built or old one renovated is designed to be more efficient than what it’s replacing. That can only mean one thing ~ more output of lumber with less input of labor. One day, and the sooner the better, we might wake up to that FACT. And realise that our exclusive focus on ‘jobs’ is completely mis-directed. The ‘jobs’ are disappearing, and try as we do to replace them, all we’re really doing is often adding more and more additional (and often needless) ‘costs’ that the ‘incomes’ ALL jobs pay will never be enough to recover in ‘prices’.

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