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October 27, 2017 6:36 pm

Emerson Says Softwood Meetings Pressed B.C.’s Stand

Wednesday, March 8, 2017 @ 3:29 PM

Prince George, B.C.- Special Envoy to the United States David Emerson  is in Washington,  following meetings there and in Ottawa on the softwood  lumber issue.

“In Ottawa, we met with Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Québec’s Representative to the U.S., Raymond Chretien” says Emerson, who adds it is important  all  areas of  “Team Canada are unified”  that division among Canadians would be  “problematic”.  He says  his meetings with  Quebec were to  ensure  “We are shoulder to shoulder”  on the issue.  He says that  is not a concern about  the current  efforts,  rather   a  reflection on what has happened in the past.

His Washington   visit  helped  him  get a better perspective of the political landscape.  He said the Trump Administration is “Far from stabilized”  and that while  there were no  negotiations “We are certainly setting the table.”

He says his message was that Canada doesn’t want  a long drawn out litigation, but is prepared to fight.   He says the scope of  the litigation this time  is broader and products that were not in the litigation in the past  have been included in the  current  action.

Emerson says he met  for about an  hour with  Oregon Senator Ron Widen, who he describes as one of the most influential  Senators in Washington and a strong advocate for the  lumber lobbyists in the U.S.  “I would say it was a good meeting, but a prickly meeting.”

The  United States is expected to  levy  significant duties on  softwood lumber  by  the end of next month.   Those duties could have a negative impact on a number of small  mill operators in B.C. “I think there is a much greater  vulnerability for the much smaller  independents” says Emerson.  “We recognize, small independents are not as capable  of handling a big cash hemorrhage as the bigger guys.”

“I believe these meetings have been a good start” says Emerson “but there is much more work to do to ultimately secure a softwood lumber deal – which remains our goal. We have differences to overcome but we can – and we must – find a negotiated solution to this dispute for the benefit of both of our countries.”


sell our lumber to China then, I am sure they wouldn’t mind…
let the US live in caves or concrete hovels.
lets throw a surtax on their hydro and natural gas while we are at it…see how long it takes them to grow up.

    I agree 100%. The US relies heavily on our lumber, and our oil for that matter.
    I am miles from being an expert in any of our economics, but maybe its time to tell China and other countries in S.E Asia were open for business and tell Trump to pound salt.
    I do understand how badly we need and rely on the economic trade with the US, but the rules are all being rewrote now and we can’t let our country become pushed into an inescapable corner.
    We seem to have to deal with what appears to be non-rational spur of the moment anything goes administration bent on protectionism.
    They want protectionism then let them have it. No wood and no oil for you, use and keep your own. Ask the former USSR how that worked out for them.

      The former USSR was physically one of the richest jurisdictions on planet Earth. Yet its citizens were largely poor in material goods of all descriptions compared with the West. The store shelves in their markets were often bare, and of the goods that were offered there was virtually no selection.

      The housing for most of their people was poor and outdated in the rural areas, and bland in the extreme in the urban. A ‘one-size-fits-all’ mentality seemed to pervade everything.

      It wasn’t that they ‘couldn’t’ make things there, but they didn’t know what to make because they never had any mechanism in their economy that allowed consumers to express their choices in what they needed and wanted. That mechanism is called ‘profit’, and the Communists outlawed it, and the type of accounting that utilised it to control and direct production.

      So when they traded with the West it was actual TRADE. Barter. What they had for what they needed or wanted from the West.

      We can’t do that. The reason being is that while we DO have the accounting mechanisms to determine what consumers want, the unit of account ~ ‘money’ ~ currently has a flaw within the way it is issued and retrieved. That flaw requires us to trade internationally NOT only because there are many things we can’t produce here, or not as well as they can be produced elsewhere, but because we currently need international credit. Someone else’s ‘money’. Or our financial system as it is won’t work.

      That’s kind of my point Socred. Having a protectionist mentality limits the amount of trade possible with outside countries.
      While we set up new deals with different countries on the global market we exclude new deals with the US limiting their international trade.
      If we limit our trade with them they will no doubt feel that effect. The problem though is that I know we would also. That’s why I say we just hit them hard with no lumber or oil exports and those are big ticket items that they would feel the effect of almost immediately. We don’t have to wimps in this.
      If they impose heavy border taxes on us, or force us into a bad softwood lumber deal were going to be hit hard financially anyways. If were going to take a bad hit, then why not just make them feel the pain by not getting the products they require, the 2 biggest being oil and lumber.

      It’s a lot more complicated than that, BAWS. The US dollar is the world reserve currency which every country thirsts after. So to eliminate the US as a trading partner other countries would have to have some alternate currency that would do what the US buck currently does. In the old days, it was gold, but that wouldn’t work anymore, (and it never did ever work very well, even when it was used). Using some other currency, like Euros, say, wouldn’t work either. No other country, or bloc of countries, has as open an economy as does the USA. Even if they went way more protectionist this would still be so. Other countries are way more restrictive in what they’ll allow their national currencies to purchase in their country when their currency is in the hands of foreigners. The big problem, for all countries, really, including the USA, is that none of them have a financial system that’s fully ‘self-liquidating’. In other words, what’s been issued as new bank credit in ‘costs’, CAN’T currently be fully recovered, (and the loans that created it repaid) in ‘prices’. International ‘trade’ is necessary to try to make up the deficiency ~ as things are at present.

Interesting US buys lumber from Sweden also and NO duty.We have companies that have major interests in US lumber mills and taxpayers are footing the Bill on all this,

In believe he is Christy’s hire, so it is BC taxpayers footing his bill, when it really should be federal taxpayers, because negotiating the Softwood Lumber Agreement is a federal matter. But, its close to an election and Christy needs to be seen as doing something!

    And not to mention it’s pretty damned important to BC these negotiations go well, so I would rather see a provincial politician watching out for BC than a federal politician watching out for Ethiopia.

Please keep in mind Trudeau has already said- He is there for Resolute Forest Products and the last several Softwood Lumber agreements were too heavily favored for the British Columbia Forest companies. News flash- 55% of all lumber cut in Canada is done in B.C.!!!!!

Biggest exporter of logs to China is the USA.

Emerson negotiated the last Softwood Lumber Agreement so he is familiar with the file.

The Americans are looking out for their interests. What else is new.?

Canada exports logs to China and other Countries and then shuts down mills because of a fibre shortage??

This duty on lumber will be harder on small operators than the big boys. Surprise, surprise.

Big Canadian (BC) lumber companies are buying up mills in the South East USA. Hmmmmm.

At the end of the day we can only hope to salvage a market for Canadian lumber, perhaps by getting a quota.

    Fibre shortage is in the interior, coastal logs are the ones being exported – it is a big province and only 1% of interior fibre is shipped as raw log.

      “Fibre shortage is in the interior, coastal logs are the ones being exported…”

      So? Transport the raw coastal logs 500kms from the coast to the interior, better than shipping them 10,000 kms to China!!!

      Someone in government needs to use some common sense here, stop shipping our raw logs 10,000 kms to China, start hauling them 500kms to the interior where our wood fiber is low. Why close our sawmills, why throw out all those jobs???

      We need someone on our (the public good’s) side making the decisions and not just allowing corporate interests to run the entire show!!!

Agreed Palopu, something doesn’t add up here!

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says B.C. exported more raw logs between 2013 and 2016 than in any other 4-year period. In a newly published research paper, the CCPA says B.C. has exported nearly 26 million cubic metres of wood worth an estimated $3 billion since 2013. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is calling for a ban on the export of raw logs from old growth forests and the creation of more log-processing jobs in British Columbia.

No doubt about it, we can all see what is going on here, raw log export is up while major Lumber Corporations are closing BC sawmills because of a shortage of timber supply… who are they kidding, it’s easier to transport whole logs nearly 10,000 kms to China than transport it a couple of hundred kms to a sawmill short on fiber supply. Something stinks!!!

ht tp://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/raw-log-exports-killing-bc-jobs-1.4000765

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