Any softwood lumber deal needs to address root cause of rift: a low loonie
by Doug Smyth, forest industry consultant and former research director with IWA-Canada.
Globe and Mail
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Barack Obama said last week in Washington that they are committed to fixing the continuing “irritant” of the U.S.-Canada softwood lumber dispute. …. Let’s hope so, because there is no doubt that the 2006-15 U.S.-Canada softwood lumber agreements were a costly disaster for the four major provinces covered: British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. From October, 2006, to October, 2015, they paid out $1.9-billion (Canadian) in export charges. However, the damage didn’t stop there. The U.S. government had already hit Canadian lumber imports with average duties of 27 per cent from 2002 to 2006. The total cost to the four provinces came to $5.3-billion (U.S.) in duties.
Lumber Jumps as Trudeau-Obama Meeting Fuels Hopes for Trade Pact
Lumber prices touched an eight-month high after a state visit to the U.S. by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau raised expectations that the latest chapter in a long-simmering trade dispute is closer to being resolved. Futures for May settlement rose 3.6 percent to their daily limit of $291.60 per 1,000 board feet at 12:45 p.m. in Chicago, the highest intraday price for a most-active contract since July 14. …A new accord would probably boost prices as imported Canadian lumber will be subject to a tax at the border, Paul Quinn, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets in Vancouver, said in an interview.