Canada and the United States are on the brink of yet another softwood lumber war, fuelled by a drastic jump in B.C. lumber exports to the U.S. and growing anti-trade sentiment.
American sawmillers say they are ready to fire the first shot in what would be the fifth lumber trade war since the 1980s, if negotiations now underway don’t result in an agreement by Oct. 12, when a one-year standstill on trade action expires.
However, growing anti-trade sentiment is making it harder to reach a deal, Canadian International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland said over the weekend.
“There is no guarantee we are going to get to a deal that works for both sides,” she said in an interview with Bloomberg Television at the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China.
With no deal in sight, the influential U.S. Lumber Coalition lobby group has assembled an entire office full of documents against Canada’s lumber industry, which it plans to submit to the U.S. government after Oct. 12. That will likely kick off a chain of events that will result in duties being applied to Canadian lumber by next year. read more >>