The Globe and Mail reports in its Saturday edition that Canadian lumber producers believe the time is ripe for the federal government to persuade the Biden administration to begin negotiations to resolve the softwood battle. The Globe's Brent Jang writes that the chief executive officers of big lumber made their views known to International Trade Minister Mary Ng during an on-line discussion Thursday night. "Minister Ng underscored Canada's interest in exploring all avenues to resolve the dispute, including negotiations on a new softwood-lumber agreement, which the United States has blocked and refused to participate in," Global Affairs Canada said in a statement Friday. The CEOs want the feds to place the softwood file onto the agenda for the March 23-24 summit in Ottawa between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Joe Biden. In the latest round of the trade war dating back more than 40 years, Canadian producers have been paying U.S. lumber duties since 2017. Leaders from West Fraser Timber, Canfor, Resolute, Interfor, Tolko and J.D. Irving Ltd. participated in the virtual round table. Lumber prices have fallen 78 per cent since reaching a record high of $1,630 (U.S.) for 1,000 board feet in May, 2021.
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