Softwood Lumber Update At COFI

Prince George, BC, Canada / CKPG News
Softwood Lumber Update At COFI

Canada’s Chief Softwood Lumber negotiator and BC Trade Envoy to the US made presentations to the Council of Forest Industries’ annual convention, providing an update on talks.
“We’re confident that we are giving this file all the necessary attention. It’s a top priority for the Government of Canada, the Prime Minister, the Minister Cynthia Freeland, Minister Jim Carr,” says Kirsten Hillman, Assistant Deputy Minister, Trade Policy and Negotiation. “We have a situation where the US has always relied on our imports of lumber to fill the gap between domestic production capacity and the demand in their market for softwood. So, they need what we have to sell and I think that those are good conditions to get a strong deal. But we’re not going to get any deal; we’re going to make sure that we get one that works for Canada.”
BC’s newly-appointed Trade Envoy to the United States David Emerson referred to early talks, with Oregon Senator Ron Wyden in particular, as “prickly.”
But he says the circumstances have changed dramatically. The price of lumber is high and the availability of it to US producers is in short supply.
“They’re concerned about pure availability of product and, in that sense, the returns to Southern lumber producers, in particular, are unprecedentedly high. The notion that that there’s some kind of injury done by Canadian wood is, frankly, farcical.”
He says, until duties are in place, even Canadian producers are enjoying the high price of lumber.


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