Ottawa, ON – Arnold Viersen, Member of Parliament for Peace River – Westlock, released a statement following the announcement of the United States Department of Commerce to double the tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber.
“In March 2016, the Liberal government promised to negotiate a framework agreement on softwood lumber exports within 100 days,” said MP Viersen. “It has now been almost six years with no action by the Liberal government to stand up for our forestry sector.”
“The latest announcement by the U.S. to double tariffs on softwood lumber will affect companies across Peace River – Westlock like Millar Western Forest Products, Boucher Bros. Lumber, Evergreen Lumber, High Prairie Forest Products, Vanderwell Contractors, Blue Ridge Lumber, and La Crete Sawmills.
These actions by the United States are a serious threat to nearly 60,000 forestry related jobs in Alberta alone. Of those, 19,000 are workers who are directly employed by Alberta’s forestry industry. They and their families will feel the pain first before the economic downturn trickles down to the 38,000 who rely indirectly on the industry for income and security.
“Canada’s forestry industry is a world leader in ensuring sustainable harvesting for future generations through site reclamation and reforestation – a responsibility that is not borne by U.S. softwood lumber companies.
“I call upon the Prime Minister and the Canadian government to take all necessary steps to have these tariffs on softwood reversed and immediately begin negotiating a new framework agreement on softwood lumber exports. The thousands of jobs in Alberta depend on it.”