Letter from Goldy Hyder to the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development regarding the softwood lumber negotiations.
Dear Minister Ng,
The Canada-United States softwood lumber dispute is one of the most intractable trade irritants between our two countries. For that reason, I was encouraged by the recent letter sent by Senators Bob Menendez (Democrat – New Jersey) and John Thune (Republican – South Dakota) urging the Biden Administration to prioritize a new softwood agreement.
Beyond defusing a longstanding dispute, a new agreement would clearly demonstrate to American families and consumers the benefits of trade with Canada. As the Senators pointed out, reducing tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber would “provide greater market stability for the U.S. housing industry and ease the burden of housing costs for all Americans.”
Both countries have expressed their openness to another softwood lumber agreement, but each appears to be waiting for the other to make the first move. With the status quo being in neither country’s interests, the intervention by two senior leaders in the Senate may get us around that impasse so both sides can get back to the table and secure a deal.
In my view, Canada should seize the initiative on this file. To that end, I strongly recommend you reach out to Senator Menendez and Senator Thune to acknowledge the significance of their letter and to reiterate our interest in a new agreement. As always, I and other members of the Business Council would be pleased to support such efforts during our upcoming travels to Washington.
Yours very truly,
November 8, 2023
November 3, 2023