Lumber industry waits for more information

Town's largest employer hopes for resolution on trade deal

  • Nov. 10, 2015 11:00 a.m.

Princeton’s largest employer isn’t going out on a limb to predict how recent trade agreement news will impact its business.

“We don’t have a lot to say because it is very early,” said Wayne Roznowsky, manager of public affairs for Canadian Weyerhaeuser, one of the largest sustainable forest products companies in the world.

“We will not speculate on what might or might not happen. In general terms Weyerhaeuser supports long-term fair trade in softwood lumber across the Canada-US border. A negotiated softwood lumber agreement between Canada and the United States will provide trade certainly.”

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 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 Pacific Rim trade 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. Harper expressed confidence that despite the history of U.S. legal and trade actions over the years, the existing deal can be extended.

“We’ve managed to export a lot of lumber over the years and I’m confident we will continue to,” Harper said.

 

With files from Tom Fletcher, Black Press.

 

 

Just Posted

Two women injured in off road vehicle crash

One victim thrown down cliff

Youth addiction centre near Keremeos celebrates one year

Ashnola at the Crossing has been open just over a year

Coldstream standoff suspect enters five guilty pleas

Accused man pleads guilty to five more counts from February standoff with police.

What’s happening

Follow Social Squad memeber Matthew Abrey to find out what’s happeing this weekend

Trump sends letter to Trudeau calling for increase in NATO defence spending

The letter comes as tensions between Canada and the United States have risen to a dramatic high

Horse put down, 1 person in hospital after hit by car in Lower Mainland

Accident along 132nd Avenue in Maple Ridge Friday afternoon

Electoral reform vote in B.C. includes $500,000 each for pro and con groups

A mail-in ballot referendum will take place Oct. 22 to Nov. 30, asking two questions on voting

83-year-old inmate dies at medium-security prison in Mission

Correctional Services Canada says Ralph Whitfield Morris died in custody

Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna suspended for 75 games

23-year-old pitcher faces assault charge

Vancouver Canucks tab Quinn Hughes with No. 7 overall pick in NHL draft

University of Michigan standout was second defenceman picked in first round

Gun, drugs and cash seized in arrest of alleged B.C. fentanyl dealer

Vancouver Island man Brent Connors is facing nine charges in relation to investigation

Jogger spent two weeks in U.S. detention centre after accidentally crossing B.C. border

Cedella Roman, 19, crossed the border while out for a run

Most Read