N.B. announces measures to protect, promote forestry sector
By P&PC Staff
By P&PC Staff
Dec. 9, 2017 – The New Brunswick government has announced measures to combat what it considers to be unfair trade actions undertaken by the United States government against New Brunswick’s softwood lumber industry.
“These duties against New Brunswick and Canada’s softwood lumber producers are unfair, unwarranted and disappointing,” said Treasury Board President Roger Melanson, who is also minister responsible for trade policy. “In the past four softwood lumber decisions, Canada fought the decision through litigation and was successful. Our government will support the federal government in the pursuit of legal action, and we are confident that we will prevail.”
Premier Brian Gallant and other government representatives have been meeting with the federal and American governments and advocating in support of New Brunswick’s softwood lumber industry since 2014. The provincial government has made submissions to the United States Department of Commerce to demonstrate that New Brunswick has an open, fair and undistorted market for timber.
The provincial government will:
• aim to improve and develop strategic corridors to improve transportation efficiency for industries, including the forest industry.
• strive to enhance innovation in the forestry industry through increased research, expanding opportunities like biomass and biofuels, and by promoting the markets that exist for value-added wood products from New Brunswick, consistent with the provincial government’s obligations under international trade agreements.
• work to protect the forest sector by increasing its efforts to monitor and combat the threat of spruce budworm through continued partnerships with industry and the federal government.
• work with industry to find new export markets and reduce reliance upon trade with the United States.
• engage an expert firm to conduct a review of the New Brunswick forestry market and, if warranted, make appropriate recommendations to address matters relative to New Brunswick that are currently the subject of the softwood lumber trade dispute.
“The forestry sector in New Brunswick is a very valued industry and employs thousands of New Brunswickers,” continued Energy and Resource Development Minister Rick Doucet. “We stand by our New Brunswick lumber producers and the local communities who rely on this important sector. We have consulted with local industry and have developed a set of measures to manage the unfair pressure on the industry while working towards a positive resolution.”