BC Lumber Trade Council vows to “defend” the industry

The BC Lumber Trade Council (BCLTC) says it will work to “defend the (lumber) industry against any potential trade actions brought by the United States,” says its president, Susan Yurkovich.

“BCLTC will continue to support work towards achieving a negotiated resolution to this dispute, she said in a statement. “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.”

Yurkovich made that vow on Wednesday, October 12, at the end of the one-year “standstill period” following the expiry of the 2006 Canada – US 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 US,” she said. “To date, a new agreement has not been reached and we are now at the end of the standstill period.”

The BCLTC 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 US industry to jointly grow the market for wood products both domestically and internationally,” she said.

“We note that both the Canadian and US 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.