Update on Softwood Lumber File
Colin Barker provides update -photo 250 News
Prince George, B.C.- The United States remains a critically important market for Canadian softwood lumber, but with the end of the Softwood Lumber Agreement, and a new administration that favours “America First” reaching a new agreement is no easy feat.
Always the solution is a negotiated settlement, says Colin Barker, Director of the Softwood Lumber Division with the Government of Canada . Talks have been on going since January of 2016, and the Federal Government continues to work closely with industry, provinces, union and indigenous groups.
But there are trade actions levelled against Canada, and Barker says for the first time, the US Department of Commerce is launching investigations into four specific forest companies.
Canfor, West Fraser, Tolko and Resolute Forest are the targets of the investigation and are being examined for anti-dumping simply because they are the largest producers.
Barker says Canada is ready to resume Softwood Lumber negotiations as soon as the U.S. is ready to do so. He adds that preliminary duties will be coming soon , the duties could be applied retroactively on shipments as early as 90 days prior. Final duties could be coming later this year, or early 2018.
Canada will defend the industry through litigation if necessary , while still pursuing a negotiated settlement.