U.S. panel ruling on softwood lumber “completely without merit”

Yurkovich: B.C. lumber producers will appeal ruling and vigorously defend industry

From his Quesnel office on Jan. 9, Tom Hoffman, External and Stakeholder Relations manager for Tolko Industries, said Tolko aligns itself with the B.C. Lumber Trade Council (BCLTC) and all of the releases it isues on the softwood lumber dispute.

He added Tolko is a member of BCLTC and is “very much aligned with what they are saying.”

Regarding how the United States’ recent decision will affect the Tolko assets in Quesnel, Hoffman said, “It is yet to be determined.”

BCLTC president Susan Yurkovich says the affirmative injury decision issued on Dec. 7 by the United States International Trade Commission [ITC] on Canadian softwood lumber is without merit.

“The ruling today, while not unexpected, is completely without merit. The ITC finding of ‘injury’, despite the current record-setting profitability of the U.S. lumber industry, makes it very clear that this was not an objective evaluation of the facts.”

There can be no doubt that this process is biased in favour of the U.S. industry, Yurkovich adds.

“To our knowledge, the ITC has never before reached an affirmative decision of injury when an industry was enjoying the most profitable period in its history, which is the case today for the U.S. lumber industry.”

The fact is, there is no injury to U.S. producers, the BCLTC president says, and they are prepared to fight the decision.

“We will initiate appeals as soon as possible and, working with both federal and provincial governments, we are confident the ITC decision will be overturned.”

It is noteworthy that in both Lumber 3 and Lumber 4, not one of the decisions issued by the ITC survived independent appeals, before both the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) panels, she explains.

“We are confident that this latest decision by the ITC will again be reversed. The U.S. Coalition’s claims of injury ring particularly hollow given the extraordinary financial performance the U.S. lumber industry is enjoying, and given that Canadian imports are at a lower level today than at the levels deemed non-injurious under both the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement and by the ITC itself in the last round of litigation.”

WTO challenge

On Jan. 10, 2018, Yurkovich said B.C. lumber producers welcomed the government of Canada’s efforts to vigorously defend Canada’s interests in trade relations with the U.S.

In particular, the federal government has requested the World Trade Organization (WTO) examine the use of certain systemic trade practices that violate international trade law, she adds.

For decades, the Canadian lumber industry has been subject to unfair and unwarranted duties imposed by the U.S. Department of Commerce, and has filed appeals under the NAFTA and WTO agreements, Yurkovich notes.

“We know that when unbiased entities review these unfair trade practices, they have found in Canada’s favour.

“Canada and the U.S. enjoy one of the most productive trading relationships in the world. However, this relationship depends on fair process and practices.

“As such, B.C. Lumber Trade Council fully supports the government of Canada’s efforts to have the WTO review these trade practices.”

Fast facts

• B.C. is the largest Canadian exporter of softwood lumber to the U.S.

• The B.C. forest industry is a major contributor to the provincial economy and supports approximately 145,000 direct and indirect jobs in the province.

• The B.C. Lumber Trade Council is the voice on trade matters for companies in British Columbia representing the majority of B.C. lumber production.

Just Posted

Vital Information Program part of community preparedness and residents’ safety

The VIP is provided free to seniors, to provide critical information to emergency personnel

Rodeo preparations are year-round

The rodeo season doesn’t gear up till April, but Quesnel riders are already getting ready

Letter: provincial residents should have ability to enjoy nature

Green Party’s Weaver re-introduces bill to increase British Columbian’s access to nature

Quesnel youth Riley Wyssen has amazing goals

Marian Gillard interviews this remarkable young girl and finds a depth well beyond her years

Letter: parents, students, staff have been waiting for new school to replace QJS

Quesnel District Parent Advisory Council wants action from education minister

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Mountain caribou habitat protection target of COS patrols

A patrol by the COS resulted in the location of snowmobiles operating in protected caribou habitat.

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

B.C. woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Princeton Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

Most Read