“We are not going to be rattled”- says Head of BC Lumber Trade Council
Prince George, B.C.- “This long standing fight needs to end” those are the words of Susan Yurkovich, President of the BC Lumber Trade Council in reaction to the countervailing duties levelled against Canadian lumber exports to the U.S.
Yesterday, the U.S. levelled duties of 20.26% to Canfor , JD Irving 3.02%, Resolute 12.82%, Tolko 19.5%, West Fraser 24.12%, and 19.88% for all other British Columbian and Canadian producers. The reasoning behind the different duties for each company has not yet been revealed.
“These duties are unwarranted, and this determination is completely without merit,” said Yurkovich, “This new trade action is driven by the same protectionist lumber lobby in the U.S. whose sole purpose is to create artificial supply constraints on lumber and drive prices up for their benefit, at the expense of American consumers.” She says the action only creates volatility in the lumber sector and that U.S. producers cannot meet the demand within its own borders as the U.S. produces about 32 billion board feet annually and consumes about 47 billion board feet.
This is the fifth round of trade dispute on softwood lumber and the allegations remain the same, that the U.S. believes the forestry industry in Canada is subsidized because the harvesting is happening on Crown Land. Interfor President and CEO Duncan Davies says the Canadian industry is not subsidised ” This is just a way of the U.S. government putting political pressure on the Canadian Industry and the Canadian governments to find a longer term settlement that will be more favourable to the U.S. Industry than has otherwise been the case.” He said the process should be recognized for what it is “Which I think was described by David Emerson, B.C.’s Softwood Lumber envoy as a shakedown, and it shouldn’t be viewed as anything other than that.”
Yurkovich says it’s not uncommon when you are trying to negotiate a deal that one side tries to rattle the other “We are not going to be rattled. We are resilient and we are going to continue to fight this fight and we are ultimately going to be successful.”