The Globe and Mail reports in its Saturday, March 18, edition that Canada's softwood lumber fight the United States, which dates back to the early 1980s, is complicated by divergent views on public versus private ownership of forests. The Globe's Brent Jang writes that the lines, however, have blurred because of inroads by Canadian producers into lumber markets in the U.S. South.
Canadian-based companies now control 35 per cent of sawmill capacity for softwood in the U.S. South, based on data compiled by Forest Economic Advisors.
Welcome to the complex world of the softwood industry, where major Canadian producers have taken a detour around U.S. tariff barriers. The geographical diversification strategy means Canadian companies are gaining greater access to timber in the U.S. amid supply constraints for wood fibre in Canada, especially in British Columbia.
Last week, the chief executive officer of Canada's top lumber producers met with International Trade Minister Mary Ng for a discussion on the cross-border dispute.
The CEOs want the Canadian government 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.
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