Clark warns of knee-jerk response to softwood fight

26 Apr 2017
Lethbridge Herald

British Columbia Premier Christy Clark is warning against knee-jerk reactions to duties imposed on Canadian softwood lumber by the United States.

The lumber tariffs come into effect May 1 but Clark says Canada should be careful not to do anything that would jeopardize negotiations.

The U.S. is imposing significant duties of up to 24 per cent on lumber imports from Canada.

The softwood lumber dispute sidetracked the British Columbia election campaign Tuesday as every party leader pivoted to talk about the impact the new tariff will have on a key industry in the province.

New Democrat Leader John Horgan says he’s disappointed by the American tariffs and is accusing Clark of failing to make the ongoing trade dispute enough of a priority.

Green Leader Andrew Weaver says the province has awarded too many forest tenure licences to multinational corporations that have no interest in keeping value and jobs in B.C. as he pushed his plan to place restrictions on the export of raw logs.

Duncan Davies, CEO with Intefor Corp. and board member with the B.C. Lumber Trade Council, says the tariff is a ploy by American producers to raise the costs of lumber products in the United States.

Council president Susan Yurkovich says they’ve fought this same battle off and on for 30 years and they won’t be rattled by the latest action.