Premier Christy Clark meets with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa, 2016. Lumber trade has been Clark's top priority with Trudeau since he was elected.

Clark seeks Trudeau’s help for forest industry

'We need action' to protect B.C. communities from Donald Trump's border taxes, Premier Christy Clark says

Premier Christy Clark has written to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to formally request additional Employment Insurance coverage, funds for tree planting work and loans to forest companies as Canada braces for border taxes and trade barriers from U.S. President Donald Trump.

Clark’s letter to Trudeau, sent last week and obtained by Black Press, notes that “unfair American tariffs” imposed in the latest softwood lumber trade dispute would hit B.C. harder than any other province.

The letter calls on the federal government to announce measures by April 24 that were discussed at a recent resource ministers’ meeting.

“The provinces have different priorities but there is broad agreement on the steps that need to be taken to support workers and communities put in harm’s way as a result of the softwood lumber dispute,” Clark wrote. “However, agreement is not enough. We need action.”

Those measures include:

• providing “access to appropriate credit facilities that will allow otherwise sound businesses to continue to operate despite unfair unfair American tariffs”

• Investments in tree planting and other silviculture work to provide forest industry jobs and improve Canada’s greenhouse gas emission performance

• Step up efforts to reduce trade barriers and increase B.C. wood products exports to Asia

If U.S. border tariffs force the closure of B.C. sawmills and manufacturers, Clark calls for EI support and retraining for laid-off workers and “economic diversification in rural communities to help them weather the economic impact.”

B.C. has retained former lumber executive and federal cabinet minister David Emerson as its trade representative in Washington D.C., and this week Trudeau announced former prime minister Brian Mulroney will advise the federal cabinet on changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement that Trump wants to renegotiate.

B.C. lumber exports to the U.S. have risen from $1.6 billion in 2011 to $4.6 billion in 2016, about half of Canada’s total lumber sales south. In the past two years, lumber exports have soared as the latest softwood lumber deal expired and opened a brief window of free trade across the U.S. border.

The U.S. industry is pursuing its fifth unfair trade case against Canadian lumber since 1982, after previous cases examining timber sales from Crown land have been decided in Canada’s favour.

Among the suggestions by Trump’s officials is the removal of the dispute resolution system under NAFTA that has rejected allegations of subsidies for B.C. lumber in the past.

 

Just Posted

Giants ground Rockets in WHL action

Vancouver builds early lead, never looks back in 6-1 win at Langley Events Centre

VIDEO: emergency landing near Langley airport

Plane lost power during take-off

Crash on 200 Street in Langley Township

Report of traffic congestion following late morning accident

Surrey’s Justin Sourdif to debut for Vancouver Giants tonight in Langley

Last month, he suited up for Team BC in the WHL Cup and was named tournament all-star.

Heavy downpours expected in parts of Metro Vancouver

Heavy rain will begin to ease off Sunday evening as the frontal system moves south out of the area

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Start on time: Canucks looking to shake first-period struggles

Canucks centre Bo Horvat said the formula for getting a leg up is there for everyone to see

COMMUTER ALERT: Snowfall warnings in effect across B.C.

Travelling this weekend? Check the forecasts before hitting the road

Drones take off to search for missing North Okanagan women

A volunteer search party was supported by professional drone operators

Tips for keeping your personal data safe, from the experts

It’s important to keep your ‘online footprint’ safe

Lights to turn blue ahead of funeral for fallen Abbotsford police officer

Buildings across B.C. are going blue Saturday night in honour of Const. John Davidson

Ride-share pioneer drives up quietly to B.C. battleground

Lyft approaches B.C. without Uber bombast, eyes small towns

Crash shuts down Highway 91 in Richmond for hours

The stretch of highway was closed for more than 6 hours due to a multi-vehicle accident

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Most Read