For immediate release
June 17, 2016
Susan Yurkovich, President and CEO of the BC Lumber Trade Council made the following statement today with respect to the negotiations between Canada and the U.S. on softwood lumber:
“British Columbia lumber producers continue to support the efforts of the Canadian government to reach an agreement on softwood lumber with the U.S. We appreciate that both the governments of British Columbia and Canada have made this a top priority.
The BC Lumber Trade Council has worked with provincial and federal officials to advance the discussions with the U.S. representatives on options to modernize the softwood lumber agreement. This work is continuing, and we know that this issue will be discussed during the U.S. President’s visit to Canada later this month.
We continue to believe that a new agreement, if properly designed, can provide certainty and stability for lumber producers on both sides of the border. An agreement would also support efforts by lumber producers on both sides of the border to grow markets for wood products domestically and offshore.
However, if a reasonable agreement cannot be reached, we are also prepared to work alongside the Canadian government to defend the industry against any potential trade actions brought by the United States, as we have done successfully in the past.”
The 2006 Canada-U.S. Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA) expired on October 12, 2015. The agreement includes a standstill provision that precludes the U.S. from bringing trade action against Canadian softwood lumber producers for 12 months after the expiration of the agreement.
BC is the largest Canadian exporter of softwood lumber to the U.S. The BC forest industry is a major contributor to the provincial economy, and supports approximately 145,000 direct and indirect jobs in the province.
The BC Lumber Trade Council is the voice on trade matters for companies in British Columbia representing the majority of BC lumber production.