Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Barack Obama met yesterday at the White House to discuss about the reduction of gas emissions and the renewal of the Softwood Lumber Agreement, which expired last year in October.
The two officials said that they expect to solve the issues regarding the SLA very soon and the negotiations are still on. They didn’t announce a new agreement to resolve the trade dispute over the exports of softwood lumber from Canada, but have been asked to consider the options and report their decision within 100 days from Thursday’s meeting, according to The Globe and Mail.
Obama told reporters at the joint press conference after the meeting that Canada and the US will solve the issues “in some fashion”, but the solution will be "undoubtedly to the dissatisfaction of all concerned."
On the other side, Trudeau said that he is “confident that we are on a track towards resolving this irritant in the coming weeks and month.”
At the moment, since the 2006 first agreement expired, the two countries have agreed on a one-year standstill, during which the US can’t impose new tariffs over the softwood imported from Canada. The US Lumber Coalition is pushing the government toward on imposing those tariffs as to offset the advantages that Canada has.
The issues over the softwood lumber exports from Canada to the US date back in 1982, when the US producers accused the Canadian over the timber prices to be artificially low, a thing that gave the Canadian producers an advantage that had to be met by tariffs imposed by the US, as reported by Bloomberg Business.