VICTORIA, B.C. — B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell and Quebec Premier Bernard Landry are urging Canada to get back to the bargaining table with the U.S. over the softwood lumber dispute.
The joint announcement came Friday, just days after a major World Trade Organization (WTO) victory for Canada where the WTO sided with Canada in eight of nine key areas.
"We believe it is important for the federal government to act urgently, directly and immediately to restart negotiations with the U.S. to secure long-term access for our forestry products into that marketplace," says Campbell.
B.C. and Quebec have been the hardest hit provinces since the 27 per cent duties were slapped against Canadian softwood. In B.C., more than 50,000 jobs have indirectly been affected (including truckers) while 20,000 have lost their jobs directly as a result of the duties.
The momentum seems to be continuing to swing in Canada’s direction, as a bi-partisan resolution was introduced in the U.S. Senate late last week encouraging President George W. Bush to pursue a solution that would "promote open trade between the U.S. and Canada on softwood lumber free of restraints that harm consumers."
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