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.

Just Posted

Final key components for Johnson Street Bridge installed this weekend in Victoria

Dynamic Beast crane barge arrives back in town on Friday

Wind warning in effect for Greater Victoria

Strong winds could reach up to 80 km/hr along coastal areas

Metchosin supports moving to three-year municipal term

Some councillors say four years is too much of a commitment

Police seek owner of sailboat beached in Oak Bay

Residents reminded to steer clear of the vessel

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington for the day

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, “high avalanche danger”

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Saanich signals support for in-fill developments in Gorge-Tillicum

The Gorge-Tillicum neighbourhood continues to experience infill. Council’s committee-of-the-whole signaled Saanich’s support… Continue reading

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

Victoria blues man named Canada’s best new artist

Maple Blues Awards gives top nod to guitarist Jason Buie

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Vessel washed ashore in Campbell River during last night’s storm

A vessel appears to have gotten loose and washed to shore on… Continue reading

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Most Read