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U.S. not yet ready to settle softwood dispute

March 10, 2017 - B.C.'s trade envoy to the U.S. on softwood lumber, David Emerson, was recently in Washington for a meeting with U.S. trade officials, senators and representatives of the National Association of Home Builders about the ongoing softwood lumber dispute. 

“We have met with them to make sure they understand that B.C. is going to fight on behalf of our lumber producers," Emerson said in a statement. "We would much rather find opportunities to work together with our American neighbours to find a lasting solution to this long-lived dispute."

Following what he called a "prickly" meeting with Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, who is also a main advocate of the U.S. Lumber Coalition, Emerson says the U.S. is not yet ready to settle the dispute.

He says the country is likely still adjusting to President Trump's transition into power.

Emerson says he made it clear to all parties that Canada is not interested in a lengthy and expensive dispute but rather in a long-term decision, on which it is ready to cooperate. 

“A stable, predictable lumber supply is good for workers and the economy on both sides of the border," he said in a statement.

“Litigation will only disrupt the market and create artificial constraints on timber supply that will benefit a select few timber barons and sawmill owners at the expense of American workers and consumers."

Emerson was appointed trade envoy by B.C. Premier Christy Clark in February 2017. | READ MORE