Canada Applauds Softwood Lumber Ruling on British Columbia’s Timber-Pricing System
A welcome victory for workers in B.C.’s lumber industry, says Minister Fast
The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today welcomed a favourable ruling in the trade dispute with the United States over the timber-pricing system for British Columbia’s Interior. A tribunal of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), convened under the Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA), ruled that Canada had not circumvented the agreement, as alleged by the United States.
“This is good news for forestry workers in British Columbia,” said Minister Fast. “We applaud the tribunal’s decision in favour of our lumber industry. This positive outcome is the result of our close collaboration with provincial and industry partners and proof that the SLA is good for Canada’s forestry sector.”
In accordance with SLA rules, the arbitration process was conducted by the LCIA. A panel of arbitrators heard compelling testimony that the increased proportion of low-value logs in B.C.’s timber harvest was caused by the devastating impacts of the mountain pine beetle infestation.
“We are committed to the success of the Softwood Lumber Agreement, which has brought certainty and stability to a sector that is vital to the Canadian economy,” said Minister Fast. “Our government will continue to stand up for the workers and families that rely on Canada’s world-class forestry sector.”
Canada and the United States enjoy the largest bilateral trading relationship in the world, with two-way trade in goods and services reaching almost $709 billion last year. Softwood lumber bilateral merchandise trade accounted for $3 billion in 2011. Reducing obstacles to trade between the two countries contributes to mutually beneficial supply chains, making both countries more competitive domestically and internationally. All told, the jobs of more than 8 million Americans depend on trade with Canada, and more than 2.4 million Canadian jobs depend on exports to the United States.
For more information, please visit Softwood Lumber and LCIA Arbitration Rules.