For immediate release
October 12, 2016
VANCOUVER, B.C. – Susan Yurkovich, President of the BC Lumber Trade Council (BCLTC) released a statement today on the end of the one-year “standstill period” following the expiry of the 2006 Canada – U.S. Softwood Lumber Agreement.
“The British Columbia Lumber Trade Council has been actively engaged for months working alongside the federal and provincial governments to support efforts to achieve a new softwood lumber agreement that can provide certainty and stability for lumber producers in both Canada and the U.S. To date, a new agreement has not been reached and we are now at the end of the standstill period.
The BC Lumber Trade Council continues to believe that a new agreement, if properly designed, is in the best interests of producers, consumers, home builders and workers in the industry on both sides of the border. Completing a new agreement would also allow us to continue the important work being undertaken with the U.S. industry to jointly grow the market for wood products both domestically and internationally.
We note that both the Canadian and U.S. governments have indicated that they will continue intensive discussions. We recognize that these discussions are challenging and greatly appreciate the leadership of the Prime Minister, Minister Chrystia Freeland, Premier Christy Clark and Minister Steve Thomson on this issue. They have made achieving an agreement on softwood lumber a top priority and are making every effort to avoid another lengthy trade dispute that creates uncertainty, hurts consumers and producers, and impedes the growth of the North American market.
BCLTC will continue to support work towards achieving a negotiated resolution to this dispute. However, we are also fully prepared and working 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.”
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.