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De Jong prepares to welcome Racicot to B.C.

VICTORIA, B.C. -- B.C. Forests Minister, Mike de Jong, is preparing for a visit from U.S. softwood envoy, Mark Raci...


VICTORIA, B.C. — B.C. Forests Minister, Mike de Jong, is preparing for a visit from U.S. softwood envoy, Mark Racicot later this week.

De Jong has hinted he is looking forward to the meeting, and adds he truly believes Racicot is interested in resolving the dispute over U.S.-imposed softwood lumber duties against Canadian producers.

De John will urge Racicot to tell the U.S. industry that there is more at stake here than protecting U.S. lumber companies.

If there is no resolution to the 32 per cent softwood duties, then there could be far reaching consequences detrimental to industry on both sides of the border.

Meanwhile, public pressure continues to call for a resolution to the dispute. The Interior Logging Association (ILA), the North West Loggers Association and the Central Interior Logging Association are writing letters to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, appealing for an end to the duties. This follows a similar letter from the B.C. Chamber of Commerce.

ILA general manager, Wayne Lintott, says that 75 per cent of his membership consists of loggers and truckers in the Kamloops area, and many have already felt the affect of the U.S.-imposed duties.


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