Log export restrictions in B.C. are a long-standing source of irritation for both the U.S. and Japan.

Trade deal doesn’t fix U.S. lumber issue: Harper

Trans-Pacific Partnership won't end softwood lumber tradeoffs, or remove restrictions on log exports from B.C.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement doesn’t resolve Canada’s long-running dispute with the United States over softwood lumber, or remove restrictions on log exports from B.C.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Friday the Canadian government would like to renew the Canada-U.S. softwood agreement, expired as of Thanksgiving Day. It’s a side deal outside the North American Free Trade Agreement, and it won’t be covered by the proposed TPP deal either.

“Obviously we would like to see this agreement move forward, and I think industry on both sides of the border would, but for reasons that were not entirely clear, the American administration hasn’t seen it that way,” Harper said in an interview with Black Press.

“In terms of forestry, what the TPP does do is provide new tariff-free access to many Asian countries, including enhanced access to the Japanese market.”

Restrictions on log exports from B.C. are also not eased by the TPP, which includes Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, New Zealand and Australia. B.C.’s control over Crown land log prices has long been an irritant with the U.S. and Japan, while private and aboriginal land log producers are restricted by federal rules.

“B.C. was able to ensure that both provincial and federal log export controls will not change as a result of the TPP, despite pressure from Japan to eliminate them,” B.C. International Trade Minister Teresa Wat said in a statement. “B.C.’s objectives for the forestry sector during the TPP negotiations were to gain market access for forestry products to important TPP markets such as Japan, while maintaining existing log export controls.”

Premier Christy Clark said this week her first call to Ottawa after the Oct. 19 federal election will be about continuing the U.S. softwood lumber talks.

The tentative TPP deal was reached after all-night negotiations in Atlanta last weekend, after talks in Hawaii were expected to settle it before Canada’s election campaign.

Harper said he expected NDP leader Thomas Mulcair to oppose the TPP, but finds it “incredible” that Pacific Rim trade would be opposed in the 21st Century.

“The Liberals will support the deal,” Harper predicted. “This is what they always do, they hum and haw, but they sent the signals and they always eventually support it. But they never actually get trade deals done.”

 

 

Just Posted

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Showers to start weekend, sun returning soon

Environment Canada forecasts rain on Saturday and the heat returning next week

RDOS contributes funds to arts centre workshop

South Okanagan Performing Arts Centre Society wants input into proposed facility

Summerland Fall Fair to include zucchini race

Event is in honour of bobsleigh athlete Justin Kripps

Shake your heads crazy people, this isn’t television drama

Lock ‘em up and throw away the key. It’s got to be… Continue reading

First Nations man deals with charges of illegal hunting

An administrative error may have resulted in a man suffering from Stage… Continue reading

July showers wash out half of the Okanagan’s cherry crop

Cherry growers say this is the worst season they’ve seen in decades

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

COLUMN: Looking back to a time of optimism

The first lunar landing 50 years ago was a time to celebrate dreams and accomplishments

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Okanagan e-scooter company foils robberies

OGO Scooters staff helped return stolen property three times in 1st week of operations in Kelowna

Olympian brings women empowerment in sports to the Okanagan

Two-time medalist Natalie Spooner joined the Girls Rock the Rink event in Kelowna

Okanagan school district monitoring McCurdy supportive housing plan debate

Top priority for board of education is to maintain safety integrity of local schools

Most Read