Seek wins in court, ambassador tells lumber industry reps

VANCOUVER ― Canada’s ambassador to the U.S. says Canadian softwood lumber producers need to score legal victories before they’re in a position to go back to the bargaining table with their U.S. counterparts. “If we were to plead with the U.S. lumber coalition to come back to the table to negotiate right now, I think they would see it as a sign of weakness,” David McNaughton told a press conference following his address to the Council of Forest Industries convention. “While we’re open to sit down and have negotiations, we think the best way to get a fair deal for Canada is to let the dispute resolution process continue and work with U.S. interests being damaged by the tariffs”.

Council CEO Susan Yurkovich agreed there hasn’t been evidence of “any willingness by the U.S. industry to come to the table, and that’s what you need in order to move forward on softwood lumber”. McNaughton affirmed his confidence that Canada “will be vindicated in dispute resolution,” which will increase pressure on U.S. lumber lobbyists to negotiate a mutually beneficial solution.