BC’s Forests Minister Steve Thomson and BC Lumber Trade Council President Susan Yurkovich met with Federal Government Ministers in Ottawa today emphasizing the importance of a new soft wood lumber agreement with the U.S. for BC’s lumber industry.
With 50% of BC’s softwood lumber production targeted for U.S. markets Thomson says getting a fair agreement locked in quickly is critical.
“It is the highest priority for British Columbia. Premier Clark has made it a high priority, the highest priority file for us. We know its the highest priority for the Federal Government.”
“We are really here making sure that we stand up for British Columbia fighting for jobs and for certainty for our forest dependent communities and we look forward to that continued engagement.”
The United States uses 47 billion board feet of lumber each year but only produces 32 billion.
There is a huge market there for Canadian lumber and hammering out a new softwood lumber deal is a must according to Yurkovich.
“Maintaining access to the market in the U.S. in addition to all the work that we are doing to develop other markets, the U.S. continues to be a key market for us with about fifty per cent of our products going there.”
BC’s Canfor, West Fraser and Vernon based Tolko Industries are 3 of 4 Canadian companies being investigated in litigation for dumping and counter veiling duties by the U.S.