Canadian Forest Companies Urge House of Commons

Once again Canadian lumber producers have pressed the federal government on the urgency of moving forward on the softwood lumber trade file, this time appearing before the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade in Ottawa Wednesday to voice their support for the Canadian Government’s continued efforts to reach a new softwood lumber agreement that is fair and acceptable to the industry in both Canada and the US.

The Canadian Lumber Trade Alliance (CLTA) was formed in 2001 to work with the federal and provincial governments to help defend Canadian softwood producers on trade matters with the US. Today, the CLTA represents 70 per cent of the softwood lumber capacity in Canada that is exported to the US market. The CLTA membership includes independent lumber producers in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.

Canadian Forest Companies Urge House of Commons

“A new softwood lumber agreement, if properly designed, will provide greater certainty and stability for Canadian lumber producers, and ensure customers in the US have access to high quality Canadian products,” said Duncan Davies, Co-Chair of the Canadian Lumber Trade Alliance, and President and CEO of Interfor, out of Vancouver, BC. “An agreement would support efforts by lumber producers on both sides of the border to grow markets domestically and offshore.”

“Smaller, independent lumber producers in Canada – from coast to coast – would benefit from the certainty provided by a fair trade agreement between Canada and the US on softwood,” added Kevin Edgson, President and CEO of EACOM, based in Montreal.

The Canadian forest products industry is vital to the national economy and the economies of many forest dependent communities across the country. The sector generates approximately 370,000 direct and indirect jobs, and contributes over $20 billion to the national GDP.