WASHINGTON, D.C. — Atlantic premiers went to Washington yesterday to ensure their history of unrestricted access to U.S. softwood lumber markets isn’t kiboshed.
If the Atlantic Provinces get what they want, a politically generated agreement between the U.S. and Canada will see no changes to the region’s market practices, which are largely driven by private woodlot ownership.
The region’s premiers, lumber lobbyists and trade officials met with both American and Canadian officials to press their case insisting industry practices needn’t be changed to find trade peace.
N.B. Premier Bernard Lord says the day’s meetings with American trade officials, including U.S. softwood special envoy Marc Racicot were productive.
“What is different today for us is we have a better understanding from having spoken directly to Racicot,” Lord says. “The special envoy has a better understanding of our position.”
That position: Atlantic Canada wants no anti-dumping duties, no export tax and no countervailing duty on softwood lumber exported to the States from Atlantic Canada. Also, it prefers to continue doing business as it has in the past, securing three-quarters of its export wood from private, market-driven woodlots and selling it across an open border.
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