BC Lumber Producers Urge Canada to Pursue Softwood Trade Talks

VANCOUVER  - The British Columbia Lumber Trade Council urged Canada's federal government to engage with its U.S. counterparts to determine a way forward following the expiration of the Canada-U.S. Softwood Lumber Agreement, which expires Monday, Oct.12, 2015.

In effect since 2006, the agreement includes a standstill provision that precludes the U.S. from bringing trade action against Canadian softwood lumber producers for 12 months after its expiration. The province of British Columbia, adjacent to Washington State, is the largest Canadian exporter of softwood lumber to the U.S. Its forest industry generates $1.4 billion in revenue for the provincial government, and supports 150,000 forestry-dependent jobs.

"It is important for governments on both sides of the border to take steps to avoid another lengthy and unnecessary trade dispute in softwood," said Susan Yurkovich, president of the BC Lumber Trade Council. "While we believe that another managed trade agreement is possible, we are also actively preparing to defend BC's softwood lumber industry against any potential legal challenges brought by the United States, as we have done successfully in the past."

In the past the disputes have created uncertainty and impeded the growth of the North American market, Yurkovich says, while the Softwood Lumber Agreement has benefited both countries by providing reliable, affordable, high-quality lumber supply from Canada to the United States, and maintaining certainty of market access for Canadian producers.


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Bill Esler | ConfSenior Editor

Bill wrote for WoodworkingNetwork.com, FDMC and Closets & Organized Storage magazines. 

Bill's background includes more than 10 years in print manufacturing management, followed by more than 30 years in business reporting on industrial manufacturing in the forest products industries, including printing and packaging at American Printer (Features Editor) and Graphic Arts Monthly (Editor in Chief) magazines; and in secondary wood manufacturing for WoodworkingNetwork.com.

Bill was deeply involved with the launches of the Woodworking Network Leadership Forum, and the 40 Under 40 Awards programs. He currently reports on technology and business trends and develops conference programs.

In addition to his work as a journalist, Bill supports efforts to expand and improve educational opportunities in the manufacturing sectors, including 10 years on the Print & Graphics Scholarship Foundation; six years with the U.S. WoodLinks; and currently on the Woodwork Career Alliance Education Committee. He is also supports the Greater West Town Training Partnership Woodworking Program, which has trained more than 950 adults for industrial wood manufacturing careers. 

Bill volunteers for Foinse Research Station, a biological field station staddling the border of Ireland and Northern Ireland, one of more than 200 members of the Organization of Biological Field Stations.