July 13, 2017 - In response to new polices that will significantly impact northern and rural Ontario, a coalition of Indigenous and municipal leaders, chambers of commerce, unions and the forest sector have come together to voice their concerns over a lack of meaningful consultation by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF).
July 5, 2017 - A researcher with C.D. Howe is recommending Canada move from a flat stumpage fee to an auction system and a tax in order to avoid future softwood lumber disputes with the U.S. 
June 16, 2017 - The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) supports the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, and her government’s $2 billion dollars in federal funds over the next five years for the Low Carbon Economy Fund. Details are as follows:

  • An envelope of $1.4 billion will be available to support the leadership commitments from provinces and territories that they outlined in the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.
  • The remainder of funds will be available for the implementation of the Pan-Canadian Framework and for projects submitted by provinces and territories, municipalities, Indigenous governments and organizations, businesses and both not-for-profit and for-profit organizations. Projects that best reduce GHG emissions and generate clean growth will be considered for funding.
“Canada’s forest products sector is a leader in the fight against climate change. We were the first major Canadian industry to launch a comprehensive plan to reduce carbon through our 30 X 30 Climate Change Challenge announced in May 2016,” said Derek Nighbor, chief executive officer of the Forest Products Association of Canada. “Through our work in Canada’s forests, at our mills and by the products we make we are a sector that alone can help the federal government achieve 13 per cent of it carbon reduction goal by 2030.”

“With most of our operations in rural and northern Canada, we know very well that there are challenges and opportunities facing our workers and our communities as we work together to address climate change. Today’s announcement by Minister McKenna provides a real opportunity for companies that are interested in investing and innovating to secure a lower carbon economy.” 
June 5, 2017 - The federal government announced on Thursday that it would provide close to $870 million to support Canada’s softwood lumber producers in the face of taxes imposed by the United States. Preliminary countervailing duties were applied on April 28.

Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr, Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland and Minister of International Trade François-Philippe Champagne made the announcement in Ottawa.

"This action plan delivers on our pledge to take swift and reasonable action to defend our softwood lumber industry and charts a stronger future for the workers, families and communities that depend on it,” Minister Carr said. “We are prepared to take further action, including additional loan guarantees, to address changing market conditions."

The government’s softwood aid package will provide additional federal loans and the mentioned loan guarantees up to $500 million to forestry companies. It will also increase employment insurance for forestry workers who will lose their jobs as a result of the duties.

The U.S. Lumber Coalition expressed its dissatisfaction with the decision. Spokesperson Zoltan van Heyningen said the U.S. Commerce Department made the right decision by implementing anti-subsidy duties. “Canada continues to push back and refuses to play by the same set of rules,” he said in a statement. “We need a level playing field and must limit the flow of unfairly subsidized softwood shipments flooding the U.S. market, driving American lumber manufacturers out of business."

The U.S. Lumber Coalition claims that more than 350,000 American jobs would be threatened if softwood duties were not imposed on Canadian producers. The Coalition first filed its petition to the Commerce Department in November 2016.

In a contrast to the Coalition’s response, reactions to the news from Canadian forestry groups have exuded gratitude and optimism.

"The federal government has shown real leadership in protecting good resource jobs," said Jerry Dias, president of Canada’s largest private sector union Unifor National. "This is welcome news for dozens of communities that are already feeling the pain of unfair trade sanctions."

"This action is appropriate and recognizes the potential impact of these duties on forest communities, families, and the forest sector," said Paul Whittaker, co-chair of the Alberta Softwood Lumber Trade Council.

As a result of the preliminary duties in April, most Canadian softwood lumber producers were hit with a 19.88 per cent duty.

J.D. Irving, Resolute, Tolko, Canfor and West Fraser were the five exceptions that were investigated separately. Their duties range from three to 24 per cent respectively.

"The Federal Government's renewed support for innovation in the forest sector will deliver tangible benefits in the emerging bio-based economy and to Indigenous communities dependent on the sector,” said Pierre Lapointe, president and chief executive officer of FPInnovations.

According to Natural Resources Canada, Aboriginal people make up nearly five per cent of the total forestry workforce in Canada, compared to three per cent of the workforce in all other sectors. The government is investing an additional $10 million in the Indigenous Forestry Initiative with this aid announcement. In 2015, there were about 9,500 forestry jobs in Indigenous communities.

"This announcement will further develop markets for wood construction and de-risk innovative research of the next generation of technologies, processes and products thereby assuring the economic future of hundreds of communities and an environmentally sustainable forest sector,” Lapointe said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted the government’s announcement of its support writing, “We’re taking immediate action to support Canadian softwood lumber producers and workers.”

“We appreciate that the federal government is standing tall for Canadian forestry communities by launching a comprehensive package in the face of trade actions that we believe are without merit,” said Derek Nighbor, chief executive officer of the Forest Products Association of Canada. “These actions by the federal government are a critical step as we work to secure a strong forest sector of tomorrow.”

The forest industry accounted for $22 billion of Canada’s GDP in 2016. Most of Canada’s softwood lumber exports go to the U.S., with more than 50 per cent coming from B.C.

“This package is a prudent response that can provide both immediate support for workers and communities if required, along with enabling additional investments in longer-term opportunities for the sector,” said Susan Yurkovich, president of the BC Lumber Trade Council. “We particularly appreciate the investment in expanding markets for Canada’s high-quality forest products overseas which will help to further diversify our markets.”

Approximately 230,000 Canadians currently work in the country’s forestry sector. More than 600 mills produce softwood lumber in Canada.
May 30, 2017 - The federal government has indicated that it will be making an announcement that will be a firm and clear demonstration of its intent to support the companies, workers and communities affected by the current softwood lumber trade dispute and the related unjust U.S. tariffs on Canada’s softwood lumber exports.

The Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA) is looking forward to this announcement and is expecting that it will include a meaningful loan guarantee program that keeps Ontario’s advanced manufacturing sawmills open and 57,000 men and women working as the softwood lumber negotiations progress. 

OFIA has expressed disappointment in the past that, despite numerous meetings and discussions that have taken place with the federal government over the previous several months, there has been no confirmation of an effective loan guarantee program for the forest industry. Actions by the federal government related to this file have focused on adjustment provisions in anticipation of a bad agreement, as opposed to actions that will send clear signals to the U.S. that the Canadian federal government stands beside and behind its lumber industry and that it will not allow jobs to be lost to the bullying tactics of a protectionist U.S. administration. 

“By not providing loan guarantees to the forest sector, Canada will be subjecting the industry to immediately crippling duties and costly litigation, ignoring the federal government’s stated mandate of investing and growing our middle class” said Jamie Lim, president and chief executive officer of the OFIA. She continued, “anything short of an announcement on an effective loan guarantee program will be unacceptable and will put our competitive sawmills and our northern communities at risk.”

For months, OFIA’s members have been meeting with the federal ministers and officials and writing to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking that they take immediate action in support of Ontario’s forest sector. As of today, OFIA has yet to receive a meaningful or relevant response.

The announcement of a properly structured loan guarantee program is the first key step to this negotiation. It would not only provide the staying power to allow proper negotiations to take place, it would also send a message to the United States that Canada is not interested in repeating history on this file. Director of forest policy at the OFIA Ian Dunn stated, “providing loan guarantees will keep people working and will send a clear message to the U.S. administration that Canada is standing up for forestry. Workers in places like Hearst, White River, Terrace Bay, Kenora, Fort Frances and other single industry towns in the north need this recognition from the federal government.”

Lim expressed doubt that developing new markets, enhanced employment insurance, and retraining of forest workers would be a viable solution for the Ontario sawmill industry, “Ontario does not have easy or economically viable access to coastal shipping routes and our workers, who have finally seen a rebirth of their industry and a restoration of their livelihoods in many forestry dependent towns, want to stay in this industry. A program to retrain these workers for jobs that will not exist in small, northern Ontario communities would be misguided.”

Lim concluded, “we are not just hoping, we are expecting that any upcoming announcement will see the federal government deliver on its promise to leave no worker, region or family behind.”
May 26, 2017 – An American high purity cellulose company acquiring a Canadian forestry one, while a potentially new Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA) looms overhead, has raised a few questions.

Jacksonville, Fla.-based Rayonier Advanced Materials (Rayonier) and Montreal, Que.-based Tembec announced their agreement for Rayonier to acquire Tembec on Thursday.

Speaking from Tembec headquarters in Montreal, Tembec’s chief executive officer James Lopez and Rayonier’s Paul Boynton stressed several times that Rayonier intends to continue all existing Tembec operations and perhaps invest in more.

Boynton also repeated that Rayonier intends to maintain a strong presence in Quebec, Ontario and France, where Tembec currently holds its operations.

The new joint company’s Canadian headquarters will be based in Montreal, while corporate headquarters will be in Jacksonville, Fla.

Choosing not to directly answer a question on whether the new joint company would stand up for Canadian lumber producers’ rights or side with the U.S. Lumber Coalition, Boynton stated only that the company’s best interests would be upheld in the event of a new lumber agreement.

On the topic of guaranteeing Canadian operations of Tembec with a potential SLA coming Boynton said, “We fully recognize there’s some optimization, but we’re going to work on that with both teams… To decide on the optimal structure,” he said. “We have U.S.-based assets, we are acquiring Canadian-based and French-based assets… Our challenge is how do we grow them.”

“We think it’s a very good model that you have here [that can be applied to Rayonier],” Boynton added.

The acquisition is not expected to affect the potential amount the company might pay for softwood lumber duties.

“Here’s the reality,” Lopez said. “Tembec is a public company now and most of our shareholders are U.S.-based now… What’s really important is Rayonier’s commitment to keeping headquarters here in Montreal… They’re going to invest a major amount of their cash flow into Canadian operations.”

Once the deal is closed, Lopez will step down and leave Boynton to lead the new hybrid company. “I think in a case like this it’s best to step down and move on to other things,” Lopez said.

As a combined company, revenue will total approximately US$2 billion.

“This is all about strategic and financial rationale… It’s really a good story… It’s hard to find anything in here you don’t like about it,” Boynton said.

Lopez said liquidity is important in regards to a potential SLA. Adding that the risk to the company this time around is significantly less than the last time a softwood lumber agreement went into effect in 2006 because of smaller lumber operations running today. “While the duties, I'm sure, will be an annoyance they will not affect this company’s ability to maintain a strong balance sheet and continue with capital,” Lopez said.

“It’s the tangible and intangible measures that made this thing a good fit,” Lopez said. “This makes my heart feel good.”

Addressing the curiosity surrounding a U.S. company buying a Canadian forest products manufacturer at such a pivotal time for the two countries’ trade relations, Lopez offered the example of the US$400 million-acquisition of Ontario-based Grant Forest Products by Atlanta-based Georgia-Pacific in 2010 to illustrate that a similar acquisition has been done before.

Employees on both sides were reassured that their best interests are being taken into account. Boynton said people will not lose their jobs adding, “that’s not our plan.” Lopez said more career opportunities are being created.

Shareholders are also expected to benefit with “the right to elect to receive either (i) C$4.05 in cash or (ii) 0.2302 of a share of Rayonier Advanced Materials common stock, for each Tembec common share,” according to a release.  

Boynton said he would like to continue acquisitions going forward in the packaging and forest products areas.

“We look forward to an exciting future ahead - the future is quite bright,” Boynton finished.
May 19, 2017 - The chances of arriving at a softwood lumber solution during NAFTA renegotiations this August are not high, an anonymous source told Reuters. 

"It's hard to imagine a deal being done that soon," the source said. | READ MORE 
May 5, 2017 - Despite not being surprised by the preliminary softwood lumber tariffs imposed by the U.S. last week, EACOM Timber Corporation’s president and chief executive officer Kevin Edgson is not any less concerned.

Edgson sat down with me outside the main room at the Ontario Natural Resources Forum in downtown Toronto; two days after President Trump made the preliminary tax announcement from Washington on April 24.

“We knew it was coming for a long time… It’s in the neighbourhood of what we expected,” Edgson said. “We were disappointed in terms of the retroactivity, especially because it seems that was manufactured as opposed to anything that was reasonable or expected.”

Montreal-based EACOM owns five sawmills in Ontario and two in Quebec. It also owns a remanufacturing facility in Val-d’Or, Que., and an engineered wood mill in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. Acquiring the latter is one way Edgson says EACOM is expanding its market reach.

“The Sault Ste. Marie operation produces a product that isn’t covered under this duty, so that was really us investing in and widening our product scope,” Edgson said. “Outside of that what we’ve done is we’ve minimized the amount of capital that we’ve spent in the last two years to build up our balance sheet, which is really to ensure that we have the liquidity to be able to take the hit.”

Earlier in the day, Edgson sat down with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to discuss industry concerns including partnerships with Aboriginal communities and exposing young people to the forestry industry, particularly young women. Softwood lumber was at the top of the list.

During the discussion, Wynne announced that Ontario would be providing an additional $20 million in funding for the construction and maintenance of forest access roads. 

Wynne said she discussed the preliminary duty situation with other premiers and is ready to work with them along with the federal government to find a solution.

“This has been a contentious file with the U.S. for years and we continue to go through a cycle,” she noted. “There is a real willingness to find common ground across the country in the best way that we can.”

“It’s clear that [U.S./Canada relations are] in a rougher, rockier patch than in the past,” Edgson told me. “I think, eventually, cooler heads will prevail. It is the largest trading relationship in the world. It is in the best interest of people on both sides of that to find solutions.”

Edgson said he is optimistic that ultimately, there will be a good relationship established between the two governments on the softwood lumber issue.

“When you look at our side of this dispute, it is an unjust accusation and therefore, what we need to do is take the higher road,” Edgson said. “We need to be calm in tone and response. What we need to do is defend ourselves with honesty and integrity and continue to believe in the process.”
April 28, 2017 - Monday’s announcement of preliminary softwood lumber duties on Canadian imports to the U.S. has raised tensions south of the border.

“These duties are unwarranted and this determination is completely without merit,” said president of the BC Lumber Trade Council Susan Yurkovich.

“Reaching a new agreement is in the best interest of producers and consumers on both sides of the border,” Yurkovich said from B.C. on Tuesday.

More than half of B.C.’s lumber exports currently go to the U.S. Yurkovich said the Canadian industry needs to focus on expanding its markets and consequently decreasing dependence on the U.S. market. “The Canadian industry has worked very hard over the last number of years to diversify our markets including moving a whole lot of our lumber into Asia,” she said.

The Asian expansion plans include China, the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and also India.

‘Misguided effort’

Duncan Davies is president and chief executive officer of Vancouver-based lumber producer Interfor. He noted how counter-productive a trade dispute is when there are so many opportunities for Canada and the U.S. to work together. 

“The real loser in all of this is the U.S. home builder and U.S. consumer… That’s why we think this is such a misguided effort,” Davies said. “Log costs are actually significantly less in some regions of the U.S. than they are in Canada.”

Davies said Interfor was not surprised by the announcement, adding that the company is well-financed to deal with any tariffs. “I don’t see Interfor materially changing any of our practices as a result of these duties.”

He noted lumber prices in Canada have seen a rise by about 30 per cent in anticipation of the duties.

Davies said the U.S. is using this method to put pressure on Canada in its goal to find a long-term solution that will be more favourable to the U.S.

‘Compe24cfae7f84287c076a251ad29dd373a_XL.jpgletely unprecedented’

“It’s completely unprecedented what the U.S. Department of Commerce has done here,” Yurkovich said referring to the two periods the Commerce Department chose to compare in its investigation. “They’ve picked an arbitrary period to make the periods match what they wanted to find all along. It doesn’t make any sense and I will be very interested to see how they’ve come up with that calculation,” she said.

Yurkovich said government and councils are working together to put forward evidence in defense of the Canadian industry. “While we support reaching a new agreement we are also fully prepared to vigorously defend our workers and traders,” she said.

“This kind of action creates volatility,” Yurkovich said.


Going forward Yurkovich said there is an initiative underway by federal Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr along with other ministers across the country to “provide industry support during this adversity.”

“We’re not going to be rattled. We are resilient,” Yurkovich said. “We’re going to continue to fight this fight and we’re going to be successful.”
April 25, 2017 - The U.S. Department of Commerce has announced preliminary countervailing duties on Canadian softwood lumber. The duties, a response to a petition filed by the Committee Overseeing Action for Lumber International Trade Investigations or Negotiations (COALITION), are set at: West Fraser 24.12%, Canfor 20.26%, Tolko 19.5 per cent, Resolute 12.82 per cent, JD Irving 3.02 per cent, and 19.88 per cent for all other Canadian producers.

“These duties stand to hurt hard working men and women in our mill communities across Canada,” says Derek Nighbor, CEO, Forest Products Association of Canada. “The duties are unwarranted and without merit. We 100 per cent support the federal government’s “Team Canada” position and we must have a fair and equitable trading structure for both our industry and U.S. customers.”

These duties will have a negative impact not only here in Canada but also on U.S. consumers. Currently, American demand for lumber far exceeds what the American industry is able to produce. They need Canada’s softwood lumber.

Research from the National Association of Home Builders in the United States found that for every $1,000 increase in house prices (due to higher lumber costs), 150,000 families are priced out of purchasing a home. It was also found that at just a 15 percent tariff, 4,600 American jobs and $265 million in wages and salaries would be lost.

“We will stand up for our industry’s workers and impacted mill communities in Canada and call on federal and provincial governments to work with us to ensure they can maintain their livelihoods during this difficult period,” says Nighbor.

Canada is the largest softwood lumber exporter to the United States. The Canadian forest products industry is vital to the national economy and the economies of many forest dependent communities across the country. The sector is one of Canada’s largest employers, providing 230,000 direct jobs and supporting one million families across the country.
April 25, 2017 – President Donald Trump has announced the dreaded news about countervailing duties on imports of Canadian softwood lumber.

After launching an official investigation in December 2016, the U.S. Department of Commerce decided that preliminary subsidies ranging from three to 24 per cent will be applied to Canadian softwood lumber imports going into the U.S.

The announcement came on Monday afternoon, one day before the news was originally set to be released.

"It has been a bad week for U.S.-Canada trade relations… The Department of Commerce determined a need to impose countervailing duties of roughly one billion dollars on Canadian softwood lumber exports to us,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross in a statement. “This is not our idea of a properly functioning Free Trade Agreement."

Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr and Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland said the imposition will negatively affect both Canadian and American workers.

"The Government of Canada disagrees strongly with the U.S. Department of Commerce's decision to impose an unfair and punitive duty. The accusations are baseless and unfounded,” they said in a joint statement released Monday.

The following four companies were investigated by the Department of Commerce as Canada’s top four lumber exporting companies:

·      West Fraser, 24.12 per cent.

·      Canfor, 20.26 per cent.

·      Tolko, 19.50 per cent.

·      Resolute, 12.82 per cent.

The lowest subsidies of 3.02 per cent are being imposed on J.D. Irving, which requested a separate investigation.

All other Canadian softwood lumber producers will be hit with a 19.88 per cent duty following this announcement.

The U.S. Lumber Coalition petitioned the American government to apply taxes on Canadian lumber in November 2016, citing unfair government subsidies being provided on the Canadian side.

“Today’s ruling confirms that Canadian lumber mills are subsidized by their government and benefit from timber pricing policies and other subsidies which harm U.S. manufacturers and workers,” said the Coalition’s legal chair Cameron Krauss in a statement. “We appreciate today’s actions by the Department of Commerce, which has examined massive amounts of evidence presented by the Coalition, the Canadian industry and the Canadian Federal and provincial governments.”

“The Coalition is hopeful that the duties imposed by today’s decision will begin the process of creating a level playing field for the future and allow for U.S. manufacturers to make essential investments and expand the domestic lumber industry to its natural market and protect and grow the jobs that are so essential to our workers and our communities,” Krauss said.

There are 202,000 Canadian forestry workers who will be impacted by this announcement, according to labour union Unifor.

“In the early 2000s when the U.S. imposed a combined duty of 27 per cent, 15,000 Canadians were laid off within months,” the company said in a statement Monday.

Canadian forestry councils expressed their frustration following the announcement, as well as Ontario's Minister of Natural Resources Kathryn McGarry.

“These duties are unwarranted, and this determination is completely without merit,” said Susan Yurkovich, president of the BC Lumber Trade Council. This new trade action is driven by the same protectionist lumber lobby in the U.S. whose sole purpose is to create artificial supply constraints on lumber and drive prices up for their benefit, at the expense of American consumers.”

“The fact is, Canadian lumber imports don’t pose a threat to the U.S. lumber industry. There is enough North American demand to grow the U.S. industry while also allowing Canada to supply its U.S. customers as we have been doing for decades,” Yurkovich said.

The softwood products subject to the countervailing duties include softwood lumber, siding, flooring and “certain other coniferous wood,” according the Department of Commerce.

“We are disappointed that the United States has chosen this course of action,” said Paul Whittaker, co-chair of the Alberta Softwood Lumber Trade Council on Tuesday.

lumber pic“Alberta’s timber pricing practices have repeatedly been found to be fair and competitive by international tribunals. We plan to work closely with the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta to vigorously challenge these tariffs and fight for Alberta jobs that depend on a healthy, sustainable forest sector. All options, including litigation, are on the table. We expect to be fully vindicated,” he said.

Canadian softwood lumber imports were valued at approximately $5.66 billion in 2016.

The results of the Commerce Department’s preliminary anti-dumping duty investigation will be released on June 23, after it was pushed back by the U.S. Lumber Coalition from May 4

"The Government of Canada will vigorously defend the interests of the Canadian softwood lumber industry, including through litigation,” Freeland and Carr said.

"Canada will continue to press their American counterparts to rescind this unfair and unwarranted trade action. We are committed to working with the U.S. Administration to achieve a durable solution. We remain confident that a negotiated settlement is not only possible but in the best interests of both countries."
April 24, 2017 - Canada's forest industry has transformed itself into one of the most innovative sectors of our economy, investing in research, developing new products and expanding its markets as it also sets the pace on environmental performance.

Hundreds of thousands of Canadian workers and their local communities depend upon this industry's continued success to support good middle-class jobs, create new opportunities and ensure sustainable prosperity for generations to come.

Federal cabinet ministers are targeting new markets around the globe in a concerted effort to enhance trade and market diversification for Canadian wood and wood products as part of the clean-growth economy.

International Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne is in China to promote the use of Canadian wood in home construction while Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, is in Vietnam, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam to explore further opportunities for Canadian wood exporters in the Asia-Pacific region. "‎Canada will not be deterred and will vigorously defend our industry. We will also seek new opportunities and provide greater access to the burgeoning economies of the world for Canada's high-quality products, notably softwood, where my mission to China has been met with eagerness to explore the sustainable, eco-friendly and safe softwood products where our industry excels,” Champagne said. “We will leave no stone unturned. Canada's softwood will help build the economies of tomorrow, especially in Asia, and together we will ensure the future prosperity of our producers and the good jobs they sustain."

Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Jim Carr, will also lead a delegation of Canadian forestry leaders to China in early June to maintain momentum from Minister Champagne's efforts this week. "Canada's forest industry is uniquely positioned to help address some of the biggest challenges facing our country: combating climate change, driving innovation, creating jobs for Indigenous and rural communities and advancing trade,” Carr said. “Our government will vigorously defend its interests as a way to strengthen the industry and support the people and communities that rely upon it."

These trade missions build on the $6 million in funding provided this year by Natural Resources Canada's Expanding Market Opportunities program to eight Canadian forest product associations to promote Canadian wood products in overseas markets, and $18 million to FPInnovations for research and development.

"Thousands of middle-class Canadian jobs depend on our wood and wood products. Our government is firmly committed to promoting and defending the interests of workers and producers from across Canada. My colleagues and I will continue to work very closely with the industry, its workers, the provinces and territories to ensure continued success at home and abroad," said Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland.

Budget 2017 announced measures to continue investing in Canada's forest sector, including $40 million over four years to support projects and activities that increase the use of wood in construction. This helps create new markets for sustainable Canadian products.

"Our government stands ready to take action to protect and support the workers, families and communities who may be affected by the softwood lumber trade dispute. The softwood lumber industry is a priority for our government, as this industry provides employment in communities across the country and is a source of economic prosperity," said Federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Jean-Yves Duclos.

These initiatives are part of the Government of Canada's continuing effort to maintain and increase access to global markets for Canadian wood and wood products.
April 21, 2017 - Granger MacDonald, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Kerrville, Texas, issued the following statement on Friday regarding reports that Canada is looking at China to boost lumber exports as an alternative to the U.S.

"The fact that Canada is seeking alternative sources to the U.S. for its lumber exports should serve as a wake-up call to Washington policymakers. More than one-third of the lumber used in the U.S. last year came from exports because the U.S. does not produce enough lumber to meet the nation's needs. Home builders need a consistent, reasonably priced supply of lumber to keep housing affordable for hard-working American families.

"Policymakers have a number of options at their disposal to make up for the current domestic shortfall. These include increasing domestic harvests, boosting exports from other nations and limiting U.S. exports. Moreover, it would be in the best interests of the U.S. and Canada to achieve a long-term solution to the ongoing trade dispute that ensures U.S. lumber consumers have access to a stable supply of lumber at competitive prices."
April 20, 2017 – The U.S. Lumber Coalition has requested, and succeeded, in postponing the results of the U.S. Commerce Department’s investigation into anti-dumping duties on Canadian softwood lumber products.

The information was published in the U.S. Federal Register. It states the petitioner (U.S. Lumber Coalition) made the request in order “to ensure that the Department has sufficient time to obtain and review all relevant information from the parties to this proceeding.”

The Commerce Department stated that since it had no reason to oppose the request, it agreed to extend the deadline on that basis.

The deadline for preliminary anti-dumping duties on Canadian lumber has now moved to June 23. The original deadline was May 4.

“The U.S. lumber industry's overarching goal is to restore an environment in which it can invest, grow to its natural size, and better be able to supply the U.S. market which will help restore the thousands of jobs lost to unfair trade, and can only happen if the domestic industry is not being impaired by unfairly traded imports,” the Lumber Coalition has stated on its website.

The softwood lumber agreement between Canada and the U.S. expired in October 2015. In November 2016, the U.S. Lumber Coalition launched a petition asking the American government to impose duties on Canadian softwood lumber imports, citing unfair subsidies to American lumber producers.

"We're looking for a good deal, not just any deal," Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said in the House of Commons about reaching a new softwood lumber agreement, according to a CBC report.

The impending duties are likely to have major consequences on this side of the border, prompting Canadian forestry companies like EACOM Timber Corporation to expand their reach in the market.
April 18, 2017 - The U.S. Commerce Department has said that it will announce on April 25 whether the first round of softwood lumber taxes will be imposed on Canadian imports.

The impending announcement has Canadian forestry companies worried about job losses in the thousands, the Canadian Press reports. | READ MORE
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