British Columbia Trade Envoy to the United States David Emerson was in Portland, Ore. yesterday advancing B.C.’s interests in the ongoing softwood lumber dispute.
Emerson and Canadian Consul-General Brandon Lee discussed how Canada and B.C. can work together to defend common interests in the United States and advocate for resolution of trade disputes. The pair met with Senator Jeff Merkley to reinforce how British Columbia and Canada can help meet the U.S. consumer demand for quality lumber products. U.S. domestic lumber production is currently not meeting U.S. demand, despite the increase in production over the last year.
Emerson and Lee also met with Governor Kate Brown’s policy advisors and senior congressional staffers.
Oregon is an important market in the U.S. for B.C. softwood lumber products. Emerson reminded those he met that imposing unfounded duties on B.C. lumber hurts American consumers, raises housing costs and costs construction jobs.
The meetings were a result of Premier John Horgan’s commitment to fight for B.C. forestry jobs in the U.S. and follow up on last week’s First Ministers’ meeting where Canada and the provinces agreed to continue advocating together for a managed agreement in Canada-U.S. softwood lumber trade.
Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology Bruce Ralston –
“The U.S. is B.C.’s largest customer for softwood lumber products, and given the increase in U.S. housing starts, the demand for lumber is only going to increase. The right thing to do is drop the litigation.”
Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Doug Donaldson –
“We’re leaving no stone unturned as we seek resolution to the ongoing trade dispute. We’re standing up for B.C.’s forest-dependent communities and B.C. workers.”
B.C. Trade Envoy to the United States David Emerson –
“It is important for American legislators to understand that the softwood lumber dispute, which threatens family-supporting Canadian jobs, also threatens jobs in the U.S. homebuilding and renovation sector. It is in all of our interests to come to a fair settlement, but if there is no fair settlement to be had, then we are prepared to litigate.”
Learn more about the softwood lumber trade dispute: www.gov.bc.ca/softwoodlumber