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

Ocean Boulevard could open after Labour Day

Colwood council expected to discuss options later this month

Sidney can ‘only educate and encourage’ people to social distance

CAO says municipality lacks legislative authority to enforce social distancing in public

View Royal fire chief calls for realistic solutions to ‘mess’ at Thetis Lake

Emergency crews harassed while extinguishing brush fire, rescuing drunk 15-year-old during long weekend calls

Greater Victoria woman goes on gratitude mission to thank first responders

Jen Klein fainted while driving and crashed on Pat Bay Highway in 2019

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Canucks tame Minnesota Wild 4-3 to even NHL qualifying series

J.T. Miller leads Vancouver with goal and an assist

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

30% of British Columbians would ‘wait and see’ before taking COVID vaccine: poll

Some are concerned about side effects, while others don’t think the virus is a big deal

Most Read