PG MP Takes Softwood Lumber Concerns to U.S. Capital
Prince George, B.C. – Cariboo-Prince George Conservative MP Todd Doherty says Canadian jobs continue to be at stake without a new Canada-U.S. Softwood Lumber agreement in place.
As co-chair of his party’s Softwood Lumber Task Force, he and his colleagues were in Washington D.C. earlier this week hammering home that point.
“We talked to Democratic and Republican legislators as well as non-partisan consumer groups and we wanted to drive home the importance of this agreement,” says Doherty.
“It also comes back to my riding which I believe is representative of rural ridings right across Canada and being able to tell the stories of the pine beetle epidemic that hit our region. That our communities and regional economies are dependent on resource based industries like forestry.”
He says another goal of the visit was to reach out across party lines to get “this back on the table and have the U.S. Lumber Coalition withdraw their petition (for higher duties against Canadian softwood lumber producers) and have that dialogue.”
He says with the federal government’s rejection of Enbridge’s Northern Gateway project this week, it leaves workers in the forestry sector in northern B.C. even more vulnerable to future mill closures.
“We had 31 First Nations that had signed on as equity partners, it would have provided jobs and opportunities for our First Nations that would have been unprecedented,” he says.
“And now I’m always optimistic but if we would’ve talked the other day, I was very disappointed, very frustrated with this government which appears to have once again forgotten about rural Canada.”
If his party really cared, they would have worked on reaching a new agreement before the old one expired, while they were still in power. Instead, they decided to have one of the longest election campaigns in history in an attempt to bankrupt the other parties. That’s where their priority was while in control. Now they want to Libs to negotiate a deal while the US is ramping up for inauguration? Haha. Good luck.
The Conservatives tried to re-negotiate a softwood lumber agreement. Problem was the Americans did not want to discuss it. They still do not want to seriously discuss it, so they will slap on a tariff and we will feel the consequences.
The question is can the Liberals negotiate an agreement where the US import tax is collected by the Canadian Federal Government and returned to the Provinces, like the Conservatives did last time around, or will the Americans collect and keep the tax. If its the latter then many years will pass before we get this issue resolved and get some of our money back.
Fate (Above) seems to suggest that the Conservatives couldn’t walk and chew gum the same time, actually they can. Its the Liberals that have trouble doing this and they usually stumble and bite their tongue.
Lets see what happens this time around.
The Americans, to hear them tell it, are the ones that do want to discuss it. And it’s the Canadians that don’t. The problem seems to be just what they want to discuss. For the Americans it seems to be limiting Canada’s share of their softwood market to the shortfall that normally exists in American softwood lumber production. The Canadians want no such restriction. So there’s an impasse. Looks to me that as long as we have a national mindset that we HAVE TO ‘TRADE’ we’re going to be on the short end of the stick. Always.
Liberals have been in power for well over a year now, racked up massive debts and no urgency what so ever to solve the softwood agreement.
“Liberals have been in power for well over a year now…”
Lets see..Liberals won election October 19, 2015..sworn in November 4, 2015. Today is Dec. 2, 2016.
And that’s “well over a year”?????
That is correct
It is less than a month over a year.
It takes longer than a month to hire new people into key positions such as deputy ministers. I understand that in the US there will be about 4,000 new hires to replace those from the previous administration. They have about three months at minimum to do that.
Obviously slinky has never had a management job, especially one in which he was hired to turn a department of 500+ staff around to a new direction.
Sorry but Trudeau’s honeymoon appears to be over.
The “cons” signed a deal which the lieberals failed to procure a few months after taking office from the lieberals ten years ago, guess they organized their ‘500 staff’ pretty fast – they must have better management skills than your peeps in red. The liebs blew away the years extension proclaiming sunny ways and tried to pull a deal out of a hat in the last two months remaining in the extension but fumbled the ball.
X-it and fate you both must be living in a different world from everybody else both the conservatives and liberals plus the major lumber producing provinces have been consistently trying to open dialogue with the US ever since the agreement ended however the Americans have shown zero inter st in opening any sort of dialogue at all.
“ever since the agreement ended” ….
In the efficient world and the world of due diligence on does not start to negotiate the day after the deals stops. In this case, based on past experience, they should have started at least a year prior to contract term end.
If they are unable to do that just because of a new head of state coming, then the system stinks.
Time we made Canada great again, after the Cons botched it.
Why would you think they never had meetings to renegotiate a new deal before the old one expired? Only took them two months last time around after the redcoats couldn’t see eye to eye with the yanks, lieberals had a whole year and then some this time around and nada again – maybe it is good that the boys in blue go shake a few trees down south.
Even their party headed electoral reform comittee couldn’t bring up any ideas after a year of town halls. One has to wonder if maybe the NDP would have been the better choice, couldn’t do any worse
We had 31 First Nations that had signed on as equity partners, it would have provided jobs and opportunities for our First Nations that would have been unprecedented,” he says.
REALLY ???? This guy needs to do his homework. Yesss maybe 31 Bands, but its NOT the Bands that own Territorial Lands..it’s the Hereditary Chiefs
give me back my beads.
Socredible, I believe our mindset to export (trading in) forest products is a natural consequence of us having an abundance of forests, plus the reality that after having satisfied our home market the workers that are employed in this industry do not desire to become unemployed! Should the countries that have the climatic advantage of being able to grow coffee beans or bananas refuse to trade or export these commodities ? Obviously the answer is a resounding NO! Actually many of those countries buy products from us that they do not have in their own country, don’t they? Why would we place voluntary restrictions on ourselves? It would not make any sense!
I know what you’re saying, Prince George. But the ‘problem’ here is that BOTH countries are going to end up losers going the way we’re trying to go with softwood lumber. And a host of other products. And that ‘problem’ isn’t exclusive to us. Other countries have it too.
Since the softwood lumber trade agreement was put in place things have changed both Canfir and West Fraser have significant operations in the US whereas before it was the US companies that had lots of mills here. You can believe both these companies will have a major say in this round of talks and both sides on the dispute will have to listen as both. companies are in the top 5 lumber producers in the world as well.
Actually its Canfor, West Fraser, and Interfor that have huge lumber mill holdings in the USA. However they also have huge holdings in Canada, and therefore are in a conflict of interest position. As a result they will not be part of the negotiating group.
maybe I don’t understand it all, but what happens if we don’t have an agreement or a weak agreement.
West Fraser and Canfor, stop selling so much of our lumber to the Americans, Start selling more offshore. make Asia our main custormer, and Americans second.
America can not produce enough lumber to support the construction anyway. So create a shortage in the states, than the story will change. The price of lumber goes up, the home buyers will complain, than the excess duties will fall off.
Just thinking out loud. Short term pain, long term gain.
Um….you can’t always “pick” who your customers are. I doubt that anyone has ever said to the Asians, we don’t want you as a customer. It is probably more a question of ….can they buy Russian wood way cheaper than Canadian ?
Problem with giving up market share is the amount of other countries just waiting to pick up what we drop
Our timber supply is limited. It is going to decrease big times to keep it sustainable for future generations. So why give it away. stop running the logs thru the mill faster and faster. Wind it down a notch.
We pay the same price for lumber, we did 30 years ago. That just aint right. That is a function of corporations trying to win market share, and the government giving it away. Stop, increase the stumpage, increase costs, and make the Americans pay for it. This is what they are lobbying against our government not taxing the mills enough.
Instead of racing to get the cheapest price on the product, how about changing the mentality and find out how much the final end consumer will bear to pay for our finite resource. Maybe Tod can read this.
What would otherwise be very sensible suggestions will be unable to be followed because of the way our ‘money’ system works, He spoke.
Ideally, international trade would be just that. Trade. Your stuff for our stuff. Barter. And exchange of each country’s alternate relative surpluses for the purposes of allowing the diversification of consumption in each.
But that’s NOT the way it currently works.
If EVERY country, no matter how ‘self-sufficient’ it was internally on a physical basis, right up to being able to be completely so, tried to operate under the current financial system as it is, NONE of them could do so.
Each one HAS TO export more than it imports (which is impossible, long term), to get some other country’s ‘money’. Not to ever buy that other country’s goods with it, but to provide an excuse for (in our case) the Bank of Canada to exchange that money into Canadian dollars which make up an otherwise (worse) shortfall of purchasing power in this country.
Oh maybe you thought they got in power in 2016, and have done all this damage in one month.
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