B.C. premier promises to fight U.S.-imposed softwood lumber tariffs

B.C. vows to fight softwood lumber tariffs

VANCOUVER — British Columbia’s premier and lumber lobby are vowing to fight for forestry workers after the Trump administration announced it will impose a tariff of about 20 per cent on Canadian softwood lumber imports.

Christy Clark has released a statement saying the B.C. government will combat “unfounded” claims made by the American lumber production lobby and work to reach a fair deal with the U.S.

She says she will meet with her cabinet to discuss the developments and determine “further actions to stand up for B.C. workers” and the forest industry.

Clark says the province has already started to diversify its lumber export markets, with the U.S. accounting for 59 per cent of softwood exports in 2015, down from 82 per cent in 2001.

The B.C. Lumber Trade Council is also decrying the new duties, saying in a release that they are unwarranted and “completely without merit.”

Council President Susan Yurkovich says that American demand for lumber exceeds what the U.S. industry can produce and that Canadian imports don’t pose a threat to U.S. lumber producers.

She says the tariffs will only create price volatility, driving up costs for American consumers, especially families who want to build or renovate a home.

The group believes a new softwood lumber agreement is in the best interests of consumers and producers on both sides of the border, Yurkovich said.

“However, with this U.S. trade action, we will also continue to vigorously defend our industry and our workers against these unwarranted duties and expect to be successful as we have been in the past,” she added.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement on the new duties Monday comes in the midst of a B.C. election, where the Liberals have promised to create new jobs and grow the economy.

Campaigning in Delta, B.C., on Monday, Clark said the province’s forest industry has “the potential to change the world” by supplying the materials and expertise to create iconic new structures and public spaces.

Clark has repeatedly said that her party is the only one that can adequately stand up for B.C. in negotiations on a new softwood lumber agreement.

In her statement Monday, Clark pledged to continue fighting for an agreement that works for B.C.

“We will fight, and we will win — as we have before,” she said.

NDP Leader John Horgan issued a statement Monday saying that Clark’s government has failed to secure a new softwood lumber deal, putting thousands of jobs at risk.

“At a time like this, British Columbians deserve a premier who will fight these unfair tariffs with everything they’ve got,” he said.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Two people rescued after falling from lifeboat at Ogden Point

Crew members of the Explorer of the Seas cruise ship fell into the water Thursday night

Saanich pedestrian incidents reflect recent trends

76% of crashes involving pedestrians happen at intersections

Online blasting video helps ease Sooke residents concerns

Complaints of dust ongoing since 2017

Son of missing Oak Bay woman asks for continued public support

‘Because she is still out there, somewhere’

BCAM slated to get one of last remainng Lancaster bombers

Approval seems certain despite emotional Torontonian appeals

BC Games’ Athletes Corner: What’s your favourite pump up song?

Check out what’s playing in the earbuds of BC Summer Games athletes before they compete

Crosswalk vandalism leaves black mark for Cowichan as B.C. Games begin

Rainbow crosswalk defaced just days after being painted

Photo gallery: BC Games Day 1

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

Anti-pipeline campers digging in as eviction deadline expires

The City of Burnaby had ordered the Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters out for violating bylaws

Trump was taped talking of paying Playboy model: AP source

Source says former personal lawyer Michael Cohen secretly recorded discussion prior to 2016 election

BC toddler with ‘allergy’ to sun waiting for bone marrow transplant

Charlie Lock, 2, needs treatment for damage caused by rare disorder EPP

VIDEO: How to throw a frisbee

Ultimate frisbee player Amy Mackay shows off the proper technique

Site C dam project plagued by problems: expert

E. Harvey Elwin expresses concern about internal BC Hydro and government documents

Seal attacks kayakers off northern Vancouver Island

‘It has to be one chance in a million of this happening.’

Most Read