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U.S.-Canada Lumber Trade Issue > Latest Developments

The U.S. Department of Commerce released its preliminary determination in the countervailing duty case against Canadian lumber imports April 25. This 12-page report details its findings. (in PDF file format). For more information, see the historical timeline on the U.S.-Canada Lumber Trade Dispute page. Current news may also appear on the Special Reports page.

Do you have information that should appear in Daily WoodWire? Send it to Jeff Redd, WoodWire editor, by fax at 1-800-874-7979, or e-mail to jeff@rlpi.com


U.S. Trade Rep promises tougher enforcement
President Trump’s top trade negotiator outlined a tougher line on enforcing U.S. deals and told a Capitol Hill hearing Wednesday that the administration has no hard deadline for completing the renegotiation of the NAFTA agreement with Canada and Mexico. The Senate Finance Committee hearing attracted a standing-room-only crowd as U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer gave his first public testimony on Trump’s promised radical shift in U.S. trade policy, a central plank of his winning presidential campaign last year. For more, click here...
6/22/2017


Canadians optimistic about exports despite coming NAFTA clash
Canadian companies are feeling optimistic when it comes to trade, according to a new report from Export Development Canada, despite some concerns about the rise of global protectionism and ramped up anti-trade rhetoric south of the border. The Trade Confidence Index, an EDC survey released Thursday that measures Canadian exporters’ level of confidence and expectations of trade opportunities over the next six months, jumped by 1.6 points from 72.3 last autumn to 73.9. For more, click here...
6/22/2017


Canadian envoy: New SLA 'a long way away'
Canada’s envoy to Washington says President Donald Trump’s administration is interested in a quick deal to end a softwood lumber dispute although Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government sees no imminent agreement. Ambassador David MacNaughton said last week U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told him it would be good to get a softwood deal before renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, due to begin as early as August. However, MacNaughton said a deal is “a long way away” with a second round of duties on Canadian lumber expected this month. Canada Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland also said a new pact on softwood -- one of the most persistent trade spats between the U.S. and its second-largest trading partner -- isn’t imminent. For more, click here...
6/20/2017


Canadian forestry workers rally seeking new SLA
An estimated 500 forestry workers and supporters from across the Maritimes gathered in Saint John on Monday to urge the federal government to demand a softwood lumber deal with the United States "before any more jobs are lost" due to countervailing duties and pending "anti-dumping" tariffs. Their union, Unifor, held a rally at Irving Pulp and Paper Ltd. on the city's west side at 3 p.m. — one of five simultaneous events held across the country. "The federal government's recent aid package for the industry was important, but the most important outcome is a negotiated softwood lumber agreement with the U.S. that benefits Canadian communities," Jerry Dias, Unifor's national president, said in a statement. For more, click here...
6/20/2017


Chretien: 'Don't lose your cool'
The state of Canada-U.S. relations is often “kind of a crisis,” according to former prime minister Jean Chretien. His advice to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and company: “Don’t lose your cool.” Reflecting on his time in office, he explained that dust-ups over foreign policy directives and trade ties have long been the norm for the two nations, and the current list of divergences between Ottawa and Washington are far from unique. For more, click here...
6/14/2017


Canada, U.S. 'quite far apart' on new SLA
Canada and the United States remain "quite far apart" on negotiating a softwood lumber settlement, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Monday, suggesting that any hopes for a swift resolution may be dashed. Freeland offered the blunt assessment before meeting members of Quebec's forestry sector, who for nearly two months have been charged duties for shipping softwood south of the border. "Our positions are still quite far apart," she said after addressing the International Economic Forum of the Americas in Montreal. "But I think that talking is always a good thing and that is something that we are doing very actively and energetically." For more, click here...
6/12/2017


Quebec envoy says new SLA possible before NAFTA talks
The softwood lumber dispute with the United States could be resolved before the NAFTA renegotiation gets underway in mid-August, says Quebec's softwood lumber envoy. Raymond Chretien, former Canadian ambassador to the U.S., said Friday he's optimistic because of recent comments by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer that he would like to conclude a deal before discussing the North American Free Trade Agreement. "I think there is an opening for negotiations," said Chretien, adding that he believes there have been "informal exchanges" between the two governments. For more, click here...
6/5/2017


Canadian forest industry applauds government response to duties
Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) is pleased that the Government of Canada has launched initiatives to ensure the forest sector remains competitive in the face of the unwarranted duties implemented by the U.S. on softwood lumber. "We appreciate that the federal government is standing tall for Canadian forestry communities by launching a comprehensive package in the face of trade actions that we believe are without merit." said Derek Nighbor, CEO of Forest Products Association of Canada. "This support will assist our efforts in continuing to transform our sector, diversify our markets, and support our workers." For more, click here...
6/2/2017


Coalition responds to Canadian government aid package
The U.S. Lumber Coalition released the following statement in response to the Canadian government's announcement of C$867-million in additional subsidies for Canadian softwood producers. The new funding adds to existing government subsidies boosting the Canadian softwood lumber industry, creating an uneven playing field with the U.S. lumber industry and putting American jobs at risk. "Today's announcement of a new government subsidy for Canadian softwood lumber producers only further tilts the trade scale in Canada's favor, threatening more than 350,000 jobs in communities across the United States," said U.S. Lumber Coalition spokesperson, Zoltan van Heyningen. For more, click here...
6/2/2017


Analyst: Ottawa's $1B lumber lifeline risks escalating US trade tensions
Ottawa may be pouring gasoline on Canada’s increasingly heated softwood lumber spat with the U.S. by extending a lifeline to the industry worth nearly a billion dollars, according to one analyst. CTV News has learned the federal government will announce $867 dollars in aid, including $605 million in loan guarantees, $160 million in market transition help, and $9.5 million in EI support for workers. Jon Johnson, a senior fellow with the C.D. Howe Institute, said the new aid package could rile up U.S. trade officials if Ottawa is seen to be tipping the scales further in favour of Canadian producers. He previously advised Canada’s Office of the Trilateral Trade Negotiations during the NAFTA negotiations. For more, click here...
6/1/2017


Canadian report: lumber duties will cost 2,200 jobs
The Conference Board of Canada says U.S. softwood lumber duties will cut $700 million from Canadian exports over two years and result in the reduction of 2,200 jobs. The board released a report Wednesday that says curtailed exports should lower the industry's pre-tax profit to $1.1 billion in 2018, down from $1.8 billion last year and $1.4 billion this year, despite growing revenues. For more, click here...
5/31/2017


Source: New SLA unlikely before NAFTA talks
Canada and the United States are unlikely to strike a deal on a dispute over lumber exports by the time talks on renewing NAFTA start in mid-August, a source close to the matter said on Thursday. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said earlier in the day he hoped the issue would be solved before the formal start of negotiations on the trilateral North American Free Trade Agreement. "It's hard to imagine a deal being done that soon," said the source, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter. For more, click here...
5/19/2017


Coalition supports NAFTA renegotiation
The U.S. Lumber Coalition is deeply supportive of the Trump Administration's and Congress' efforts to grow the U.S. economy by improving U.S. opportunities under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). These issues are of utmost importance to American companies, workers and communities in the wood products and forestry industries, which are critical elements of the U.S. manufacturing base and many state economies. Chapter 19 of NAFTA prevents the United States from fully enforcing our trade laws against unfair trade. Due to highly questionable panel decisions under NAFTA's Chapter 19 dispute settlement mechanism, billions of dollars of unfairly traded goods have entered the United States unimpeded, costing hard working American men and women their jobs. For more, click here...
5/19/2017


US officially triggers NAFTA renegotiation
The United States has officially indicated its desire to renegotiate the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement, triggering a 90-day consultation window before formal talks begin. The clock was set ticking Thursday in a letter from U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says he is putting Congress and trading partners on notice that “free and fair” trade is the new standard in the U.S. For more, click here...
5/19/2017


New Brunswick hires former US ambassador as trade envoy
The Gallant government has appointed a former United States ambassador to Canada as New Brunswick's special envoy in the softwood lumber tariff dispute. David Wilkins, who served from 2005 to 2009 during the George W. Bush administration, begins his one-year contract effective immediately, the government announced Friday. For more, click here...
5/15/2017


Lighthizer confirmed as US Trade Representative
The U.S. Senate confirmed President Donald Trump’s pick as top trade negotiator, clearing the way for the administration to reset relations starting with the North American Free Trade Agreement. In a 82-14 vote, the Senate approved Robert Lighthizer as U.S. Trade Representative on Thursday. Trump tapped Lighthizer for the position in January, but the lawyer’s confirmation was delayed by questions from lawmakers over work he did decades ago on behalf of foreign governments, for which he had to get a legal waiver. For more, click here...
5/12/2017


Ross: US may withdraw from NAFTA
The Trump administration may tear up the North American free-trade agreement and negotiate separate deals with Canada and Mexico, President Donald Trump’s point-man on the file says. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross also warned Tuesday that Washington will be “more aggressive” in fighting back against what it believes are unfair trade practices, such as by slapping tariffs on imports. And he took aim at British Columbia Premier Christy Clark over her move to ban U.S. coal shipments from her province’s ports. This is an excerpt from a Globe and Mail story, which may require a subscription. For more, click here...
5/10/2017


McCain, Carter chime in on lumber dispute
Two historic figures in American politics spoke about the Canada-U.S. softwood lumber dispute this week — one sympathetic to the northern neighbour, and the other less so. The good cop: John McCain. Bad cop: Jimmy Carter. For more, click here...
5/10/2017


BC premier, Ottawa at odds over negotiating approach
Canada is looking to settle the softwood-lumber dispute with the United States “peacefully, through negotiations,” a federal minister says, taking a measured tone in contrast to the combative position of campaigning Liberal Leader Christy Clark, who has promised to retaliate by banning or taxing thermal coal moving through B.C. ports. A negotiated settlement “is the only way that we can in the long term come to terms with this repeating irritant, that is as a result of the United States repeatedly imposing punitive, and we believe unfair, tariffs against the Canadian industry,” Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr told a Commons committee on Thursday. Mr. Carr is leading a federal-provincial group co-ordinating a response to the softwood duties, while Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is negotiating with the U.S. administration. For more, click here...
5/5/2017


U.S. lumber imports expected to rise
Increased lumber imports to the U.S. from Europe, New Zealand, and Latin America are expected in 2017, with U.S. lumber prices reaching 13-year highs and Canadian lumber being hit with import tariffs of 20%, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly. High import tariffs on Canadian lumber to the U.S. are likely to increase U.S. lumber production and boost shipments from overseas in 2017. Another outcome of the countervailing duties is that Canadian lumber companies will probably be more aggressive in their search for alternative markets to the U.S. For more, click here...
5/3/2017


Canadian official still confident new SLA can be reached
Canada remains confident a deal can be reached with the United States on softwood lumber without repeating the drawn-out trade litigation of the past. Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr says reaching a new long-term deal is the best option, even as he repeats his warning that jobs will be lost in Canada as a result of the U.S. lumber industry's lobbying for new duties on Canadian imports. For more, click here...
5/1/2017


BC Premier takes aim at US coal industry
Premier Christy Clark is taking aim at the American coal industry in the wake of the United States imposing hefty tariffs on British Columbia's softwood exports. Clark wrote a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking Ottawa to ban the shipment of thermal coal through B.C. ports, the bulk of which comes from the United States. For more, click here...
5/1/2017


Preliminary CVD notice publishes in Federal Register; cash deposits now required
The International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce today published in the Federal Register the preliminary countervailing duty determination on softwood lumber from Canada. This means that April 28, 2017 is the effective date of cash deposit requirements on imports of softwood lumber products from Canada. For more, click here...
4/28/2017


Canadian trade ministers turn attention to China
While a potential conflict looms with the U.S. over trade, Canada’s Liberal government is continuing to cozy up to China. Canadian ministers had high-level discussions and a private dinner this week with powerful Chinese officials, including the vice-premier who was seated next to President Xi Jinping at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-lago resort at the beginning of the month. According to a Canadian government official, Finance Minister Bill Morneau and International Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne sat across from Vice Premier Wang Ying (one of four vice-premiers directly under Xi) at a boardroom table before being treated to a “very traditional Chinese banquet” afterwards. It capped off a six-day mission to China led by Champagne. For more, click here...
4/28/2017


Former US Trade Rep: New SLA was close
A former U.S. trade representative says the Obama administration was on the verge of signing a new softwood lumber deal with Canada but the pact fell through when someone on the Canadian side felt a better deal could be reached with the incoming Trump administration. Michael Froman made the remarks in an interview on CBC News Network's Power & Politics one day after U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Canada is dumping softwood lumber south of the border. "We worked very hard, particularly over the course of the last year, at Prime Minister [Justin] Trudeau's request to try and find a solution to that, find an agreement," Froman said. "I think we could have gotten one, but a judgment was made late in the year that since President [Donald] Trump was... from the building industry, he might be more receptive to the interests of builders and the Canadian government preferred to take their chances with him and we'll see how that plays out," Froman told Power & Politics host Rosemary Barton. For more, click here...
4/27/2017


Trump, Trudeau talk trade again
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S President Donald Trump spoke again about bilateral trade on Wednesday, the second conversation in as many days between the two leaders amid strains over softwood lumber and dairy. Trudeau's office declined to say who initiated the phone call and revealed no details about the tone or content of the conversation, saying only that Trudeau continued to emphasize the importance of trade to U.S. jobs. It is extremely rare for the two to speak two days in a row, highlighting tension between their countries. For more, click here...
4/27/2017


Freeland touts progress on softwood, vows to be 'tough' with US
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is shooting back at Donald Trump’s anti-Canadian trade rhetoric saying she will be “tough and strong” in fighting for Canada’s economic interests with the U.S. Freeland also says she is optimistic a new softwood lumber deal can reached, and that it will be a win for Canada and the United States. Freeland says she has had discussions with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in recent days and some progress has been made, but there’s no sign of a deal yet. For more, click here...
4/26/2017


Nova Scotia included in duty case, for now
After a day of uncertainty, the Nova Scotia government admitted late Tuesday afternoon it has lost a long-standing exemption from U.S. border taxes on softwood lumber exports from the province, at least for now. "Needless to say, we are disappointed," said Trade Minister Michel Samson. Earlier in the day, Samson said the province was awaiting official confirmation on the fate of the exemption from American authorities. As of May 1, a 19.88% tariff will be imposed on Nova Scotia softwood forest products shipped into the U.S. For more, click here...
4/26/2017


Canada issues statement on CVD ruling
The Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources, and the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement following the imposition by the U.S. Department of Commerce of duties on imports of certain Canadian softwood lumber products into the United States: "Canada's forest industry sustains hundreds of thousands of good, middle-class jobs in communities across our country. Many regions across Canada depend on its continued success. The forest industry is one of the most innovative sectors of our economy, developing new products and expanding its markets overseas while ensuring our environment is protected for future generations. The Government of Canada disagrees strongly with the U.S. Department of Commerce's decision to impose an unfair and punitive duty. The accusations are baseless and unfounded." For more, click here...
4/25/2017


Canada assessed preliminary CVD rate of 19.88%
A preliminary countervailing duty rate of 19.88% will be levied against Canadian softwood lumber exports to the U.S. Individual rates will be assessed to the five companies that were investigated. They are: West Fraser, 24.12%; Canfor, 20.26%; Tolko, 19.50%; Resolute, 12.82%; and J.D. Irving, 3.02%. The weighted average of those five companies' rates determine the "all other" CVD rate of 19.88%. Special circumstances were found against J.D. Irving and "all other" Canadian companies, which means those duties will be retroactivce 90 days from when the CVD determination is published in the Federal Register, probably back to around February 1. West Fraser, Canfor, Tolko, and Resolute will not be required to pay retroactive duties. Commerce is scheduled to issue a preliminary determination in the anti-dumping duty case June 23.
4/24/2017


'From Tweaks to teats': Canada-US tensions mount
Canada-U.S. trade tensions have moved quickly from “tweaks to teats,” as Bank of Montreal puts it. Next up, and long contentious, is softwood lumber. Indeed, the decision by the U.S. Commerce Department on preliminary countervailing duties Tuesday promises to raise the temperature to the point where milk boils. Access to this story may require a subscription. click here...
4/24/2017


New Brunswick fights for exclusion from duties
Twenty-five New Brunswick sawmills owned by 14 companies will be affected if the United States imposes a duty on Canadian softwood lumber, according to the provincial government. The government announced Friday it intends to fight for exclusion from border duties on softwood lumber and last month set up a task force with representatives from 11 departments to look at what can be done to mitigate the effects of any duty. For more, click here...
4/24/2017


Reminder: Preliminary CVD ruling scheduled announcement April 25
Random Lengths will send email and fax subscribers a Special Report on the Department of Commerce's preliminary ruling in the countervailing duty case as soon as we have reliable information on the decision from our sources or directly from the DOC announcement, whichever is available to us first. While April 24 is the statutory deadline for the DOC to make its decision, the department has indicated it will announce the decision on April 25.
4/21/2017


Canadian trade minister to promote lumber in trip to China
OTTAWA -- While exploratory talks on a Canada-China free-trade deal are set to resume here next week, the Canadian Cabinet minister in charge of the trade file will be in China hoping to expand demand for a key Canadian export. Currently, the largest market for Canadian softwood lumber is the United States. But Canada and the U.S. have been locked in a decades-long trade dispute over the wood, which could intensify next week when the U.S. Commerce Department is expected to announce whether it will impose a countervailing duty on Canadian softwood lumber imports. "Diversification is part of the solution to that," Canadian International Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne told Xinhua in an interview here Thursday. "My role as chief marketing officer of Canada is to make sure the forestry industry throughout Canada is healthy." For more, click here...
4/21/2017


Trump takes aim at Canada in dairy, lumber, energy
U.S. President Donald Trump escalated his attacks on cross-border trade Thursday, repeating his criticisms of Canada’s dairy industry but expanding his rhetoric to condemn lumber and energy. The remarks will test the “good lines of communication” Canada’s government says it has established with Trump’s White House since the new administration took office. After signing an executive order in Washington that directs his administration to investigate whether steel imports jeopardize U.S. national security, Trump decided to repeat remarks he made earlier this week on Canadian dairy policies. He called them a “disgrace” to U.S. farm workers. For more, click here...
4/21/2017


Facts related to trade dispute available on website
With the preliminary determination in the countervailing duty case against Canadian lumber imports scheduled to be publicly announced April 25, a number of traders have contacted Random Lengths seeking information on the case. Don't remember previous duty rates or how previous cases were resolved? It's all included in our timeline of the long history of the dispute, and is available at www.randomlengths.com. Click on In Depth, and then U.S.-Canada Trade Dispute. An abbreviated timeline is now available on the five duty petitions that have been filed in the case since 1982. An expanded, month-by-month look at the history of the dispute is also available, along with other charts and facts related to the case.
4/18/2017


Preliminary decision in dumping case pushed back to June 23
The U.S. Department of Commerce announced today that it was postponing the preliminary determination in the anti-dumping duty investigation until June 23. The U.S. Lumber Coalition, which filed countervailing and anti-dumping duty petitions against Canadian lumber imports, had requested the delay. Citing "no compelling reasons to deny the request," Commerce postponed the preliminary AD determination, which had originally been scheduled May 4. Under the current schedule, the preliminary determination in the CVD case is scheduled for April 24, and the preliminary determination in the AD case is scheduled for June 23. As was reported in the April 13 issue of WoodWire, the Coalition has also requested that Commerce align the final decisions in the CVD and AD cases. A decision on that request has not yet been announced.
4/14/2017


New developments arise in AD/CVD cases
Recent filings with the Department of Commerce could adjust when final duty decisions are announced, but the preliminary determination in the countervailing duty case against Canadian lumber imports is still scheduled for April 24, Random Lengths has confirmed. Commerce is expected to publicly announce its preliminary CVD ruling on April 25. The preliminary determination in the anti-dumping case is expected to be made June 23, although Commerce has yet to confirm that exact date. Today, the petitioner in the duty cases, the U.S. Lumber Coalition, filed a request with Commerce to align the final decisions in the CVD and AD cases. If approved, final AD/CVD determinations would likely be announced in early November. The last stage in these duty cases is a final determination from the International Trade Commission, which rules on whether the U.S. lumber industry has been injured. That ruling comes 45 days after the final AD/CVD ruling, or likely in late December. For information on further developments, read Random Lengths' Through a Knothole, or Random Lengths WoodWire.
4/13/2017


Council: SLA 'critical' to BC forestry sector
Frustrations and fears are continuing to mount across B.C.'s forestry sector as negotiations for a softwood lumber agreement have fallen flat. It's been 18 months since the Canada-U.S softwood lumber agreement expired, and current negotiations have been hampered by U.S. allegations that subsidized Canadian imports are undercutting American producers. For more, click here...
4/7/2017


Trump to examine trade partners, including Canada
Justin Trudeau is driving home the message that Canada and the United States share a special relationship that relies on the continued smooth flow of commerce across their border. The prime minister says that means jobs in both countries, a message Canada will continue to impress on the Americans as Donald Trump prepares to hold his country's major trading partners to account. The U.S. president wants to determine which countries are using abusive trade practices to run export surpluses — and Canada is among those to be examined. For more, click here...
3/31/2017


BC envoy says window open slightly for lumber deal
British Columbia’s softwood trade envoy says there’s a slight opportunity to quickly negotiate a new lumber agreement between Canada and the United States, but if a deal can’t be reached by the summer or fall it could mean a lengthy fight. David Emerson said Wednesday he sensed a chance at a deal but also saw continued turbulence in the administration of President Donald Trump and strong protectionist sentiments in the US Congress after visiting Washington, D.C. last week. “My own guess is there is a window of opportunity, late summer or early fall, and if that doesn’t initiate something meaningful in terms of negotiations then I think we’re probably into next year,” he said. For more, click here...
3/30/2017


Canadian softwood lumber in U.S. crosshairs, B.C. envoy says
British Columbia’s envoy in the latest softwood lumber dispute will be back in Washington this week and says recent comments by U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade nominee show he’s “clearly got his crosshairs on Canada.” David Emerson, who was Canada’s international trade minister when the last negotiated softwood lumber agreement with the United States was signed in 2006, was last month appointed as B.C.’s envoy in the new round of talks. The federal government is leading the file, but B.C. accounts for half of Canada’s softwood lumber exports to the United States and would bear the brunt of the imposition of duties. Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. President’s nominee for trade representative, told a Senate confirmation hearing last week softwood lumber was “at the top of the list” of issues he would address. Mr. Lighthizer said he would end the dispute through a new agreement or litigation. For more, click here...
3/20/2017


NAHB CEO predicts long battle toward new SLA
Headaches over the supply and price of North American lumber likely will persist for several years, the CEO of the National Association of Home Builders told lumberyard executives last week, adding that one solution he's working on is to promote imports from Chile and perhaps Brazil. "I think it's going to take four to five years to have a resolution to the Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA)," Jerry Howard told members of LBM Advantage, a buying co-op, at its annual meeting in Orlando. He was referring to the now-expired trade pact between Canada and the United States that is expected to result in tariffs of as much as 30% being imposed this spring. For more, click here...
3/20/2017


Trade rep nominee: Lumber dispute 'at the top of the list'
President Donald Trump’s nominee for United States Trade Representative is vowing to end the long-running softwood-lumber dispute with Canada – whether by cutting a deal or fighting it out in trade court – and take Ottawa to task for not cracking down on counterfeit goods destined for the U.S. In a clear signal of the new administration’s bilateral priorities, Robert Lighthizer told his Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday that softwood is “at the top of the list.” For more, click here...
3/15/2017


Ontario, Quebec more vulnerable to lumber duties
MONTREAL — Canada’s lumber industry is in a stronger position to weather a U.S. trade battle than it was during the last major clash a decade ago, but smaller Quebec and Ontario producers would be particularly vulnerable to duties that may arrive within weeks, industry observers say. B.C. producers such as West Fraser Timber, Canfor and Interfor have hedged their bets, purchasing sawmills in the U.S. primarily in the years when there was a truce over softwood. They’ve also seen softwood exports to China grow, giving them some degree of protection against tariffs that the U.S. could impose as early as May. “The big players in the West are now in a more comfortable position than they were 10 years ago,” says Andre Tremblay, head of the Quebec Forest Industry Council. “We are in a much more delicate situation now than during the last conflict.” For more, click here...
3/15/2017


Canadian official says border tax would hurt both countries
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has warned U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross that a border adjustment tax would hurt businesses in both countries. Ms. Freeland spoke by telephone Thursday with Mr. Ross, the man tapped by President Donald Trump to lead the renegotiation of the North American free-trade agreement. For more, click here...
3/10/2017


Canadian envoy heads south to talk lumber
The Province will be sending a special envoy to the U.S. early this week with aims to bring B.C. softwood lumber to the table with decision makers south of the border. Former provincial and federal politician David Emerson is heading south to begin talks on a new softwood lumber agreement, the predecessor of which had run its course in October 2015. Emerson will be bringing the issue to Ottawa first on Monday, where he will speak to senior officials, including the minister of foreign affairs and Quebec's representative to the U.S. For more, click here...
3/6/2017


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