Capacity (Mike Beck, RPF) was invited to the House of Commons
Capacity (Mike Beck, RPF) was invited to the House of Commons in Ottawa to sit in front of the International Trade Committee to discuss the high importance to ratify and settle the long standing Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA) in NAFTA Bill C-4.
It is vital to voice concerns to the trade committee on impacts to many of our First Nation Forestry Business clients as well as, our Canadian lumber industry to stay competitive and have certainty on business operations by unfair US lumber duties and tariffs. Again, a healthy Canadian Log and lumber business requires certainty and fair market pricing. In order to achieve this, the Canadian government needs to bring the Softwood Lumber Agreement to the forefront of Bill C-4 and finalize a long-term deal that avoids protectionist measures on both sides of the border. Canadian logs and lumber require unencumbered access to world markets in order to return the highest possible pricing. The Protectionist measures in this case are creating an unnecessary cost to the Canadian Sawmiller and these costs are passed on to the log seller which pushes log prices down domestically.
Recent court decisions and reconciliation (Pathway/Foundation) agreements for First Nations are providing control of their timber resources within their unceded territory. The Federal government needs to create forest policies that will ensure success, sustainability and create long term meaningful jobs in the industry as well as, FN Forestry businesses and ventures. Imposed US countervailing duties and tariffs have denied the maximum pricing on logs that have impacted profit margins for FN forestry businesses that sell to Canadian mills.
There is a requirement for major reforms in policy to remove restrictions on log exports in order to eliminate uncertainty in the Canadian forest Industry and allow the highest return and highest pricing for our renewable resource. It will be vital to have collaborative discussions and engagement between Governments, First Nation Forestry businesses and the Canadian forest industry to ensure a fair ratification of the SLA to make certain FN forestry business and ventures, Canadian Forest Industry are economically successful and sustainable in Canada.