The negotiations regarding the softwood lumber agreement between Canada and the US are still on for a new meeting between Canadian Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman.
The two had already met in China on September 4, during the Group of 20 summit and Freeland expects to meet Froman soon, as no date on the next meeting has been confirmed yet, as reported by Bloomber BNA.
“We continue to explore all possible approaches. Any agreement must reflect the realities of the softwood lumber sector, including differences in communities across Canada,” said Alex Lawrence, spokesman for Freeland.
There have been several meetings and conference calls between the officials of the two countries since the softwood lumber pact expired. In recent months, the level of engagement has intensified and calls are now being held bi-weekly.
Also, the US and Canadian negotiators are working intensively to accomplish the agreement consistent with a joint statement issued by President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as reported by Bloomberg BNA.
The two countries now work on a new agreement because the one year standstill expires by mid-October. Once the standstill expires the US producers can bring dumping and subsidy cases against Canadian softwood lumber imports.
A new pact on softwood lumber should be flexible and reflect the commercial realities of every Canadian province to get the country's support, said Canada's Ambassador David MacNaughton. He added that Canada is ready to work with the US for the best solution. Yet, the US pushes for a quota on lumber imports from Canada, while Canada wants different options for several provinces.