Talks to revive Softwood Lumber Agreement standing still

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There still remains no sign of any move toward talks aimed at retooling or renegotiating the now-expired Canadian/American Softwood Lumber agreement.

American industry groups have long argued Canada subsidizes its lumber production, and it took five years of court battles to reach the 2006 agreement to regulate Canadian softwood exports to the US.

Earlier this fall, Premier Clark told the legislature the US has refused to renegotiate despite two years of requests, and now says a new deal will be her first topic of discussion with newly elected Prime Minister Trudeau.

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Susan Yurkovich of the Council of Forest Industries says a new deal would benefit both countries lumber industries and the sooner talks begin the better.

However, she also concedes it’s to be expected the results of last month’s federal election will impact the timing of the talks.

She also noted again, the expired agreement includes a standstill clause, which prevents the US from launching any trade action against Canadian producers until October of next year, and she said:

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