The U.S. International Trade Commission could impose significant duty against Canadian softwood lumber products that could put a dent into BC’s forestry sector.
Forestry has taken a beating over the past 16 years according to BC NDP Leader John Horgan.
Horgan says Premier Christy Clark hasn’t lifted a finger to help the industry.
“Since 2001, 30,000 fewer people are working in forestry. Over 150 mills have closed and rather than focus on this fundamental industry in British Columbia, Christy Clark is chasing an LNG pipe-dream”
The most recent cuts to the sector took place in Merritt when over 200 people lost their jobs.
The Americans have also made an aggressive move says Horgan. “The U.S. International Trade Commission has filed against Canada and we can anticipate a significant duty put in place that will materially affect communities and workers right across British Columbia.”
50% of the softwood trade between Canada and the United States comes from B.C., which further strengthens Horgan’s argument that the province has been a vital partner to our neighbours south of the border.
“Our largest trading partner is the United States. I worked in the forest sector and I represent what used to be a forest community that no longer is because we can’t compete due to unfair practices at the U.S. level.”
Horgan plans on creating a trade task force if he takes power after the provincial election in May that would include NDP Surrey-Whalley MLA Bruce Ralston.