The United States on Friday requested consultations with Canada under the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA) regarding alleged unfair under-pricing of timber harvested from public lands of British Columbia.
The consultations provide an opportunity for the United States and Canada to exchange views and attempt to resolve their differences. If the matter cannot be resolved this way, then either the United States or Canada may request arbitration.
“The decision to move to consultations is intended to emphasize the importance of resolving this matter,” said U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, in a statement.
To the United States, it appears that British Columbia is providing softwood lumber producers a low-cost input for their products and circumventing the SLA export measures. Read more here.
Related: Canada Says U.S. Softwood Complaint Unjustified (Reuters)