Ottawa and Washington are debating about renewing the Softwood Lumber Agreement, regarding the export of Canadian lumber to US markets, according to the Wall Street Journal. As Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s trade minister said, the Canadian negotiators met in Washington with their US counterparts to discuss an agreement regarding the lumber-trade.
The first SLA was signed in 2006 and expired in October 2015. The deal was made to resolve the dispute regarding the sale of Canadian wood products in the U.S. markets. 12 months after the agreement expires, Canadian softwood lumber producers are kept away from new tariffs levied by Washington. Still, if the SLA isn’t renewed by October this year, new tariffs will be imposed on the Canadian wood products.
“We are working very hard on this deal. The forestry industry is incredibly important across this country, and we are very aware of the significance of the softwood-lumber agreement and we are working very hard on it,” said Freeland.
Also, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discussed with USA President, Barack Obama, about the SLA during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Manila. The discussions are to continue in March, when Trudeau visits Washington.
In 2015, exports of forest products from Canada reached 9.2% from 2014, to CA $3.47 billion. The forest products reach 8% of the total Canadian exports.
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