B.C. braces for new U.S. lumber trade action

Notice of American litigation follows expiry of last Canada-U.S. softwood lumber agreement in October

B.C. still sells half of its lumber exports to the U.S.

One of a series of articles on the future of the B.C. forest industry. You can find the series on Facebook or Twitter by searching for the hashtag #BCForestFuture or at the links below.

TOKYO – B.C.’s government and forest industry are disappointed but not surprised at the latest trade action launched Friday by the U.S. lumber industry.

The notice of litigation comes after the last Canada-U.S. softwood lumber agreement expired in October.

Forests Minister Steve Thomson received the news as he began his annual forest products trade mission to Japan Friday. The U.S. remains B.C.’s largest lumber customer, although Japan, China, India and other markets have improved in recent years.

“We are disappointed that the U.S. lumber industry has petitioned its government to launch trade litigation,” Thomson said. “We encourage the U.S. government to review previous cases and determine that the U.S. industry allegations against Canada are unfounded.”

Susan Yurkovich, president of the B.C. Lumber Trade Council, is also on the Asia trade mission, aimed at reducing B.C.’s dependence on the U.S., which still buys half of B.C.’s export lumber.

She said the industry will “vigorously defend” against the latest trade action, agreed with Thomson that a new “managed trade” agreement with restrictions on Canadian lumber exports is the most likely compromise.

“Similar claims were made in the prior round of trade litigation and were ultimately rejected by independent NAFTA panels, which concluded that Canadian lumber is not subsidized and did not cause injury to the U.S. industry,” Yurkovich said.

The U.S. Department of Commerce is responsible for conducting trade litigation, and is expected to decide by mid-December which industry allegations it will investigate.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Former Cloverdale church elder pleads guilty to sexual assault

Brian Batke, 73, entered guilty plea Feb. 14

Free pads, tampons now available in Surrey school washrooms

Menstrual products previously given out to students upon request

Suspect in Surrey forcible confinement arrested in Toronto

Constable Richard Wright, of the Surrey RCMP, said William Daniels-Sey was arrested on Feb. 16

Surrey student selected as Loran Award recipient

Award is valued at $100K over four years of undergraduate studies

Blair says RCMP have met Wet’suwet’en conditions, so barricades should come down

The Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project

B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting Wet’suwet’en dissidents

Scott Fraser, Carolyn Bennett standing by to return to Smithers

B.C. mom’s complaint about ‘R word’ in children’s ministry email sparks review

In 2020, the ‘R’ word shouldn’t be used, Sue Robins says

Federal minister pledges to meet Wet’suwet’en chiefs in B.C. over natural gas pipeline

The Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say they are visiting Mohawk territory

2010 leader John Furlong urges Vancouver to bid for 2030 Winter Games

VANOC said the 2010 games broke even financially

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

Canadians aboard coronavirus-ridden cruise ship to return home tonight

Among the infected are 47 Canadians who will have to remain in Japan for treatment

Galchenyuk nets shootout winner as Wild edge Canucks 4-3

Vancouver tied with Calgary for second spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

Most Read