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Today's Takeaway

Softwood lumber: Well, that escalated quickly

Categories: Today's Takeaway
Apr 25, 2017
Tree Frog Forestry News

A mere sampling of the hundreds of softwood lumber stories from all sides. A few summary quotes include:
  • Trump takes first swing in lumber war: tariff of 20 per cent on Canadian lumber. Ross Marowits (Canadian Press)
  • We're going to actually do our own lumber. We will have access to great amounts of lumber. President Trump (Washington Examiner)
  • This is not our idea of a properly functioning free-trade agreement. Jim Carr (Canadian Natural Resources Minister)
  • These duties are unwarranted, and this determination is completely without merit. Susan Yurkovich (BC Lumber Trade Council) 
  • The Trump administration has fired the first broadside in its insane battle against bilateral trade imbalances. Frances Copolla (Forbes)
  • Well, that escalated quickly. So what happened? Trump watched Fox News. Paul Wells (Macleans)
  • We are pleased with this initial outcome and are looking forward to the (next, anti-dumping) duties. Zoltan van Heyningen (U.S. Lumber Coalition)
-- Tree Frog Editors

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Forestry

Sunshine Coast Regional District responds to BC Timber Sales five-year plan

By Sean Eckford

Categories: Forestry
Region: Canada; Canada West
Apr 24, 2017
Coast Reporter

Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) directors have had a look at BC Timber Sales’ (BCTS) plans for the Sunshine Coast, and their response is similar to comments the board made last year. In fact, directors voted at the April 13 planning and community development committee meeting to repeat some of their 2016 recommendations on the BCTS five-year operating plan. One was to tell BCTS that the SCRD does not support logging on District Lot (DL) 1313 in Elphinstone (licence A91376). Auctioning that cutblock has been delayed to 2018 to “enable the SCRD to continue dialogue with the Squamish Nation and FLNRO [Forests Lands and Natural Resource Operations] to determine how to protect the lot from timber harvesting.”

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Cascade-Siskiyou expansion: Who makes our nation's laws, the president or Congress?

By Travis Joseph, president & CEO, American Forest Resource Council

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States; US West
Apr 24, 2017
The Oregonian

Presidents of the United States, regardless of political party, should always follow the law. Separation of powers is the founding principle of our Constitution. Law Professor Michael Blumm's guest opinion in The Oregonian/OregonLive offers a different argument: Presidents should follow the law when it fits a political agenda, but be allowed to reinterpret the law when it doesn't. This conflict is at the heart of the American Forest Resource Council's legal challenge to President Obama's expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in Southern Oregon: Who makes our nation's laws, the President or Congress? ...Even though I strongly disagree with Professor Blumm and his account of the process, I respect his personal views on the monument. But personal views should not trump the law, the Constitutional doctrine of separation of powers, or a president's commitment to faithfully execute the law.

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Forestry official: National refuge fire could burn 6 months

By Russ Bynum

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States; US East
Apr 24, 2017
Washington Post

SAVANNAH, Ga. — A wildfire that has scorched more than 70 square miles (180 square kilometers) of public lands near the Georgia-Florida state line could burn for the next six months unless heavy rains snuff out the flames sooner, fire officials said Monday. A bolt of lightning sparked the blaze April 6 inside the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. Strong winds over the weekend pushed the flames farther into areas of the swamp parched by drought, causing the fire’s footprint to grow by 76 percent between Friday and Monday. So far, nearly all of the burning acreage has been confined to the Okefenokee refuge in southeast Georgia, as well as the neighboring Osceola National Forest and John M. Bethea State Forest in Florida.

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Collective forest tenure reforms: Where do we go from here?

By Anne Larson

Categories: Forestry
Region: International
Apr 25, 2017
The Center for International Forestry Research

The recent World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty, held this past March in Washington D.C., provided a unique opportunity to reflect on collective land tenure reforms not only from a research point of view, but also from that of governments... The result today is that some countries are still grappling with first-generation questions, while others have moved on to the other colors in the spectrum, including second and third-generation challenges... The second-generation questions are about rights protection and livelihoods. Formal rollbacks are not the only challenges to tenure security. Even after formal recognition, communities need access to justice if rights are infringed upon or eliminated.

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Drop in forestry replanting due to assorted factors

Letter by Jim Childerstone

Categories: Forestry
Region: International
Apr 25, 2017
NZ Herald

A possible 5% reduction in forestry replanting could mostly be the result of owners of small woodlots (those smaller than 20ha) not replanting on cut-over sites. Some of the blame also lies with corporate and large forest owners converting to other forms of land use, such as dairy, when irrigation has become available. This is partly due to poor returns based on locality and size of areas planted under the post-1989 afforestation grant scheme. There also appears to be some confusion with the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) carbon credits, introduced to supposedly encourage land owners to establish new woodlots.

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Conservationists call for moratorium on logging to save endangered Leadbeater’s possum

By Calla Wahlquist

Categories: Forestry
Region: International
Apr 24, 2017
The Guardian

Conservationists have called for a moratorium on logging more than 100,000 hectares of Victoria’s remaining native forest estate to protect the critically endangered Leadbeater’s possum. Environmental Justice Australia, acting on behalf of volunteer organisation Friends of the Leadbeater’s Possum, wrote to the Victorian environment minister, Lily D’Ambrosio, on Monday requesting she implement an interim conservation order to “completely prohibit logging within the critical habitat of the Leadbeater’s possum” in order to ensure the survival of the species, which is at risk of dying out within the next 40 years. The critical habitat area is made up of 171,345 hectares of mountain ash forest in central Victoria, according to recent research.

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Company & Business News

Statement by Canada on Softwood Lumber

Natural Resources Canada  

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; United States
Apr 25, 2017
Canadian News Wire

OTTAWA - The Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources, and the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement following the imposition by the U.S. Department of Commerce of duties on imports of certain Canadian softwood lumber products‎ into the United States... "The Government of Canada disagrees strongly with the U.S. Department of Commerce's decision to impose an unfair and punitive duty. The accusations are baseless and unfounded. "This decision will negatively affect workers on both sides of the border, and will ultimately increase costs for American families who want to build or renovate homes... "The Government of Canada will vigorously defend the interests of the Canadian softwood lumber industry, including through litigation. 

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US planning large tariff on softwood lumber imports

By Kelsey Johnson with files from Jonathan Hayward, Canadian Press

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; United States
Apr 24, 2017
iPolitics.ca

Washington’s decision to impose punitive duties averaging 20 per cent on Canadian softwood lumber imports are unwarranted and will cause pain on both sides of the border, Ottawa said Monday night. ...“As a result of today’s determination, Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect cash deposits based on these preliminary rates,” the statement reads, adding some “companies will be subject to the retroactive collection of cash deposits.” ...In an interview with Reuters, Ross repeated the 20 per cent figure and said Canadian imports account for more than a third of the American market. “It’s about 31.5 percent of the total U.S. market, so it’s a pretty big deal in terms of the Canadian relationship,” Ross told Reuters ...“This is not our idea of a properly functioning Free Trade Agreement,” he concluded.

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President Trump's Tariff On Canadian Softwood Lumber Imports Will Hurt America Most

By Frances Copolla

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; United States
Apr 25, 2017
Forbes

The Trump administration has fired the first broadside in its insane battle against bilateral trade imbalances. And its aim was not what most people expected. Canada, not China, is the target of the Trump trade team’s wrath. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has just announced a new 20% tariff on imports of Canadian softwood lumber. The US currently imports about $5.66 billion worth of softwood lumber from Canada every year. It is an essential input for the American construction and home repair industries. This move is ostensibly in response to a petition from American lumber producers... Viewed in this light, this move simply looks like yet another attempt to pacify American lumber producers.

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Canada pursues possible trade deal with China as softwood lumber dispute with U.S. heats up

By Susan Lunn

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada
Apr 24, 2017
CBC News

Exploratory free trade talks are underway this week as Canadian and Chinese officials visit one another's countries to discuss what a potential agreement might look like. Chinese officials are gathering at the offices at Global Affairs Canada, while two federal ministers, International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne and Finance Minister Bill Morneau, are in China.  In Washington on Friday, Morneau said his China trip will focus on furthering relationships with his Chinese counterparts and key industry players, while Champagne works to promote the use of Canadian lumber in home construction. ..."...we've really tripled our exports in forest products to the Chinese marketplace, going from five per cent of our exports to 15 per cent of our exports," Neuheimer told CBC News. That initial effort focused primarily on single-family home construction, he said, but looking to the future the effort will need to be expanded to selling lumber for the construction of larger buildings such as schools, libraries and apartment buildings.

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Softwood lumber: Well, that escalated quickly

By Paul Wells

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; United States
Apr 25, 2017
Macleans Magazine

On Monday, Fox News carried an interview with a Wisconsin dairy farmer who has hit hard times and blames Canada. The President was watching. It started with such promise, too. When Justin Trudeau visited the White House on Feb. 13, the longstanding softwood lumber dispute with the Americans came up — and in an interesting way... Donald Trump became interested in knowing how his budding relationship with Trudeau compared to Barack Obama’s. Trudeau was circumspect. I did have a good working relationship with President Obama, the prime minister said, approximately. But you know one thing he was never in a position to deliver on? Softwood lumber. Hint, dropped... So what happened? Two things, perhaps. First, Trump has been having a lousy time on trade, which was one of the two or three top issues that got him elected. He can’t get his nominee for chief trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, confirmed. He hasn’t been able to formally start the 90-day process toward a NAFTA renegotiation. 

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'Another bad act on the part of the Canadians': Trump administration launches punitive tariffs on Canadian lumber

By Ana Swanson and Damian Paletta

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; United States
Apr 24, 2017
Washington Post

The Trump administration announced... a roughly 20 percent tariff on softwood lumber imported from Canada... Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in an interview that his department had reached a preliminary decision to impose the tax, the administration's first major trade action against Canada. Ross portrayed the action as a tough measure to punish Canada after President Trump declared last week that “we can’t let Canada or anybody else take advantage and do what they did to our workers and to our farmers.” “What we are doing is dealing with another bad act on the part of the Canadians,” Ross said. ...Jeffrey Schott, a former treasury official and trade negotiator, said the tariff would likely translate into higher costs for U.S. consumers. “This will put upward pressure on prices for the main consumer of softwood lumber, and that would be the housing industry. So the cost of housing will go up to some extent,” he said.

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Trump announces trade war with Canada, retroactive 20% tax on lumber

By Paul Bedard

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; United States
Apr 25, 2017
Washington Examiner

Claiming the U.S. has been "taken advantage of" under the Clinton-era NAFTA trade deal, President Trump Monday night opened a trade war with Canada, announcing a retroactive 20 percent "tax" on lumber imports, and promising a similar tax on Canadian milk... The president put a jobs spin on the decision, which he had planned to announce Tuesday. "It's going to mean that we're doing lumber in our country," he said. What's more, he said that deregulation efforts are already underway at the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior Department to open the door to companies logging federal lands. "We're going to actually do our own lumber," he said. "We will have access to great amounts of lumber," said Trump. The president added that logging virgin but aging forests should help them recover. "By doing what we're doing, we're improving our forests."

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Horgan: Christy Clark is in the pocket of “lumber barons” who put British Columbians out of work

By Rattan Mall

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada
Apr 24, 2017
The Indo-Canadian Voice

NDP Leader John Horgan on Monday took Christy Clark to task for accepting massive political donations from forest companies that have been laying off BC workers in record numbers. “Christy Clark’s government has overseen the loss of 30,000 forestry jobs while filling her pockets with cash donated by the same companies who have been throwing BC workers out in the street,” said Horgan. “The BC Liberals accepted nearly a quarter of a million dollars in political donations from Weyerhaeuser’s BC operation, including $5,000 on the eve of this election,” said Horgan, noting the company has shuttered all but two of its BC mills since the BC Liberals came into office 16 years ago... “Weyerhaeuser’s US-based parent company is one of the signatories to the formal petition to the US government looking to impose punishing duties on Canadian softwood lumber, yet that’s who Christy Clark chooses to work for.”

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U.S. imposes preliminary duties up to 24% on 'subsidized' Canadian softwood lumber

By Janyce McGregor

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; United States
Apr 24, 2017
CBC News

Canada's forest industry felt the slap of the countervailing duties they were bracing for late Monday, with confirmation out of Washington that a U.S. Commerce Department investigation has once again concluded that softwood lumber imports are unfairly subsidized. Canadian lumber imports are expected to face new duties ranging from three to 24 per cent, starting next week. Countervailing duties are used to level the playing field when a country believes that another country's product is unfairly subsidized. ..."Today's ruling confirms that Canadian lumber mills are subsidized by their government and benefit from timber pricing policies and other subsidies which harm U.S. manufacturers and workers" said Cameron Krauss, the legal chair of the U.S. Lumber Coalition and a senior vice-president of Oregon's Seneca Sawmill, in a release.

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Trump takes first swing in lumber war: tariff of 20 per cent on Canadian lumber

By Alexander Panetta and Ross Marowits

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada
Apr 24, 2017
Canadian Press in the Chronicle Herald

The United States has fired the opening shot in a latest softwood-lumber war against Canada, with the Trump administration announcing its first batch of duties on imported wood in the neighbourhood of 20 per cent. The move was expected: the historic dispute over lumber pricing has led to once-a-decade trade skirmishes between the neighbours, resulting in American duties, then inevitable court battles, and ultimately negotiated settlements. What wasn't expected Monday was the enthusiasm with which the new American administration flung itself into the lumber hostilities, touting its incoming countervailing duties as an example of U.S. President Donald Trump's tough, America-first trade posture... Trump told the conservative media gathering, according to Breitbart News: "We love Canada, wonderful people, wonderful country, but they have been very good about taking advantage of us through NAFTA."

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Loonie hits lowest value in 4 months as U.S. slaps new duties on Canadian lumber

By Hideyuki Sano

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada
Apr 24, 2017
Global News

The Canadian dollar fell 0.4 percent in early Asian trade on Tuesday after U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said his agency will impose new anti-subsidy duties averaging 20 per cent on Canadian softwood lumber imports. The Canadian dollar fell to as low as C$1.3555 per U.S. dollar, its lowest level since late December, edging near its December trough of C$1.3598 to the dollar. On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump told members of the conservative media that “we’re going to be putting a 20 per cent tax on softwood lumber coming in — tariff on softwood coming into the United States from Canada.”

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Various firms seek different solutions in softwood showdown

By Mia Rabson

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada
Apr 24, 2017
Canadian Press in the Victoria Times Colonist

OTTAWA — Tension surrounding the latest softwood lumber showdown between Canada and the United States is not just limited to the lumber industries in the two nations. ...Harry Nelson, a professor of forestry at the University of British Columbia, said the largest forestry companies, especially in British Columbia, can withstand a long dispute with several years of U.S.-imposed import tariffs on softwood. They not only have bigger cash reserves to help weather the storm, they have more market options in non-U.S. markets, such as China or India, which don't make financial sense to any other region in Canada. "Any company that is larger, has more production in the U.S. and has the ability to go to the Chinese or offshore export market is going to be in a better position," he said. Quebec's largest softwood producer, Resolute Forest Products, says there's one more important reason why British Columbia's biggest companies have a "conflict" when it comes to advising Canada on how to solve the latest dispute.

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Canadian lumber companies brace for US import tariffs

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; United States
Apr 24, 2017
Canadian Press and News 1130

OTTAWA – Ottawa has talked with provinces about helping Canada’s forestry sector, but won’t act swiftly once the US imposes duties on softwood lumber imports, says a government source. The issue will heat up Tuesday when the US is set to announce a first batch of duties on Canadian lumber... The Canadian government has been expecting it, but it will wait to see the details of various punitive measures before calculating the aid amount. “Any determination really can’t be made until we’ve seen what the rate and penalty will be,” said an official who declined to be identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly. BC Liberal Leader Christy Clark says the provincial government will continue to press its case in negotiations with the Americans. But BC NDP Leader John Horgan claims Clark has failed to protect the forest industry, and says the province deserves a leader who’ll fight the tariffs.

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U.S. levies duties on Canfor, West Fraser, Tolko

By Nelson Bennett

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; United States
Apr 24, 2017
Business in Vancouver

The first salvo in the renewed Canada-U.S. softwood lumber war was fired today, and three B.C. companies are the biggest targets. The U.S. Department of Commerce announced late in the day April 24 that it had made preliminary determination that unfair subsidization of Canada’s softwood lumber industry is distorting the American lumber market and is levying countervailing duties in the 20% range. The U.S. Commerce Department is also still considering levying additional anti-dumping duties. A ruling on anti dumping duties is expected June 23... Canada has historically won most of its disputes over softwood lumber duties, but while they make their way to international tribunals, the companies must pay the duties on all exports to the U.S.

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U.S. imposing 20-per-cent tariff on Canadian softwood lumber exports

By Brent Jang and Adrian Morrow

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; United States
Apr 24, 2017
The Globe and Mail

The United States will impose duties of nearly 20 per cent against Canadian softwood lumber exports as trade tensions mount between the two countries. Five Canadian exporters each face a company-specific countervailing duty rate ranging from 3.02 per cent to 24.12 per cent as the United States retaliates for what it calls softwood subsidies in Canada. Other Canadian lumber exporters will be subject to a weighted average of 19.88 per cent, the powerful U.S. Lumber Coalition said late Monday. “It has been a bad week for U.S.-Canada trade relations... U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in a statement. “Today, the Department of Commerce determined a need to impose countervailing duties of roughly $1-billion on Canadian softwood lumber exports to us. This is not our idea of a properly functioning free-trade agreement.” Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr and Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland fired back: “The government of Canada disagrees strongly with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s decision to impose an unfair and punitive duty. The accusations are baseless and unfounded.”

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Trump announces tariff of around 20 per cent on Canadian lumber

By Alexander Panetta and Ross Marowits

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; United States
Apr 24, 2017
Canadian Press in MacLeans Magazine

The United States has fired the opening shot in the latest softwood-lumber war against Canada, with the Trump administration announcing its first batch of duties on imported wood in the neighbourhood of 20 per cent. The move was expected: the deep-rooted dispute over lumber pricing between the two countries has led to once-a-decade trade skirmishes over the issue, resulting in American duties, then the inevitable court battles, and ultimately negotiated settlements. What wasn’t expected Monday was the enthusiasm with which the new American administration flung itself into the lumber hostilities, touting its incoming countervailing duties as an example of U.S. President Donald Trump’s tough, America-first trade posture. ...America’s lumber lobby applauded the announcement. “We are pleased with this initial outcome and are looking forward to the (next, anti-dumping) duties expected to be announced June 23,” said Zoltan van Heyningen of the U.S. Lumber Coalition.

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B.C. Lumber Producers to Vigorously Defend Against Egregious U.S. Duties on Softwood Lumber

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; United States
Apr 24, 2017
BC Lumber Trade Council

VANCOUVER, BC – Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce imposed punitive preliminary countervailing duty rates on Canadian softwood lumber in response to a petition filed by the protectionist lumber lobby in United States. In this preliminary determination, countervailing duty rates imposed are as follows: Canfor 20.26%, JD Irving 3.02%, Resolute 12.82%, Tolko 19.5%, West Fraser 24.12%, and 19.88% for all other British Columbian and Canadian producers. “These duties are unwarranted, and this determination is completely without merit,” said Susan Yurkovich, President of the BC Lumber Trade Council... The U.S. Department of Commerce [DOC] also found “critical circumstances” which means duties will be retroactive 90 days for all companies other than the mandatory respondents. “The finding of critical circumstances in this case represents an unprecedented departure from the DOC’s typical approach and produces an entirely arbitrary result,” added Yurkovich... However, with this U.S. trade action, we will also continue to vigorously defend our industry and our workers against these unwarranted duties and expect to be successful as we have been in the past.”

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Trump Plans To Impose Tariff On Imports of Canadian Softwood Lumber

By Peter Nicholas, Paul Vieira

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; United States
Apr 24, 2017
Associated Press in Fox Business

The Trump administration is taking retaliatory action against Canada over a trade dispute, moving to impose a 20% tariff on softwood lumber that is typically used to build single-family homes.  In an interview Monday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the tariff will be applied retroactively and imposed on Canadian exports to the U.S. of about $5 billion a year... The determination that Canada improperly subsidizes its exports is preliminary, and the Commerce Department will need to make a final decision. In addition, the U.S. International Trade Commission will need to find that the U.S. industry has suffered injury. But even a preliminary decision has immediate real-world consequences, by discouraging importers from buying lumber from Canada. We tried to negotiate a settlement but we were unable," Mr. Ross said, adding that previous administrations have also been unsuccessful in resolving the dispute. 

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U.S. Lumber Industry Applauds Commerce Department Finding of Massive Canadian Subsidies

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; United States
Apr 24, 2017
US Lumber Coalition

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced a preliminary determination in response to a petition filed in November 2016 by the Committee Overseeing Action for Lumber International Trade Investigations or Negotiations. The United States government ruling substantiates that Canada subsidizes softwood lumber production, distorting the U.S. softwood lumber market to the detriment of U.S. sawmills, their employees and communities... The Department of Commerce is still considering U.S. industry claims that Canadian lumber is also dumped in the U.S. market. Dumping duties are added to countervailing duties imposed to offset subsidies... A preliminary antidumping ruling is scheduled for June 23, 2017. Coalition Legal Chair Cameron Krauss, “We appreciate today’s actions by the Department of Commerce, which has examined massive amounts of evidence presented by the Coalition, the Canadian industry and the Canadian Federal and provincial governments."

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No criminal charges in Woss train derailment

By Katie Derosa

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada West
Apr 24, 2017
Victoria Times Colonist

There will be no criminal charges laid in connection with the train derailment that killed three and injured two in Woss last week, the RCMP said Monday. The train was in a reload yard Thursday morning when it suddenly rolled down the tracks and collided with a track maintenance car where the five men were working. The collision caused logs to spill across the railway tracks. Mounties have ruled out obvious criminality or criminal negligence, so the investigation will now be led by the Transportation Safety Board and WorkSafe B.C. Western Forest Products and the union representing forestry workers will be starting their on-scene investigation today.

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Christy Clark strongly supports B.C.’s innovative forestry sector: Liberals

By Rattan Mall

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada West
Apr 25, 2017
The Indo-Canadian Voice

PREMIER Christy Clark on Monday affirmed her continued strong support of British Columbia’s innovative forestry sector at Delta’s StructureCraft. “B.C.’s forestry industry has the potential to change the world,” said Premier Clark, “Cities around the world are not only building new iconic public spaces and structures using B.C. wood, they’re using B.C. expertise to make it happen.” StructureCraft, which designed the iconic Richmond Olympic Oval, Surrey’s Central City, and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, is currently working on signature projects in Minneapolis, Portland, and Calgary... The Liberals said that Clark and they are the only party and leader that will stand up for BC forest workers and secure a fair softwood lumber agreement.

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Liberal Leader Christy Clark explains difference between Liberal, NDP donations

By Gordon Omand

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada West
Apr 24, 2017
Kelowna Daily Courier

DELTA, B.C. - British Columbia Liberal Leader Christy Clark says the difference between her party accepting donations from American lumber companies and NDP Leader John Horgan welcoming support from a forestry union with ties to U.S. industry is that she won't allow the money to influence her commitment to putting B.C. workers first. Clark said Monday the New Democrats can't be trusted to side with British Columbians after it emerged that the salaries of some of the NDP's senior campaign staff were being paid by the United Steelworkers Union, which represents 40,000 forestry workers across Canada. A spokeswoman for the NDP said a "handful of staff," including the party's deputy director, are being paid by the Steelworkers and "some other organizations."

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Mixed reviews for NDP platform among B.C. business groups

By Nelson Bennett

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada West
Apr 25, 2017
Business in Vancouver

Should John Horgan’s NDP win the May 9 provincial election, some businesses in B.C. – notably building contractors – could benefit from government spending on affordable housing and public capital works projects. The NDP is promising 96,000 construction jobs over five years through public-sector construction of schools, hospitals, roads and rapid transit... NDP campaign planks are also favourable to the forestry sector and independent power producers.They’re less favourable to fish farming and the oil and gas sector... On forestry, the NDP platform includes a review of B.C.’s raw-log export policies and a plan to “maximize” the use of B.C.-made wood products in the many homes and public buildings the party has promised to build if elected.

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U.S. puts 20% duty on B.C. lumber exports

By Tom Fletcher

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada West
Apr 24, 2017
BC Local News

Premier Christy Clark and cabinet ministers are interrupting their election campaign to respond to the U.S. Commerce Department’s decision to impose duties of about 20 per cent on Canadian lumber exports. ...Susan Yurkovich, president of the B.C. Lumber Trade Council, said the U.S. industry trade action is designed to push up lumber prices for their benefit. The decision found “critical circumstances,” which means duties will be retroactive for 90 days. Yurkovich said that was unprecedented for the Department of Commerce and “entirely arbitrary.” Clark vowed to fight the preliminary ruling and convince U.S. officials that B.C. lumber is a key component of the U.S. housing industry. B.C. cabinet ministers meet Tuesday.

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B.C. party leaders line up against new U.S. softwood lumber duties

By Susan Lazaruk

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada West
Apr 24, 2017
The Vancouver Sun

The long-standing softwood lumber trade war between Canada and the U.S. is heating up again, with Washington announcing its first batch of duties on imported wood in the neighbourhood of 20 per cent. B.C. Liberal Leader Christy Clark said she would meet with members of her cabinet and meet with the media on Tuesday. “My message to B.C. forest workers, their families and producers is this: We are here for you,” Clark said in a statement Monday evening. Clark called claims made by the U.S. lumber industry unfounded, unwarranted and unfair. “The forest industry built this province and it has a strong future ahead,” she said. “We will fight and we will win, as we have before.” NDP Leader John Horgan blamed the premier for the new threats of tariffs. “B.C. has lost 30,000 forestry jobs under Christy Clark’s Liberals and now her failure to get a softwood deal is putting thousands more at risk,” Horgan said in a statement.

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West Fraser Announces First Quarter Results

By West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd.

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada West
Apr 24, 2017
Canada Newswire

...Our lumber segment generated operating earnings of $152 million (Q4-16 - $107 million) and Adjusted EBITDA of $191 million (Q4-16 - $144 million). Improved product pricing was the primary driver of improved results. SPF shipments were lower than production due in part to weather-related transportation delays. Our panels segment, which includes plywood, LVL and MDF, generated operating earnings in the quarter of $12 million  and Adjusted EBITDA of $15 million. Improved product pricing was offset by increased costs associated with our WestPine MDF plant restart. Our pulp & paper segment generated operating earnings of $31 million  and Adjusted EBITDA of $40 million.

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Ontario Names Chief Softwood Lumber Negotiator

By the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada East
Apr 24, 2017
Government of Ontario

Ontario is continuing its support for the province's forestry sector, naming Jim Peterson as its chief negotiator to represent Ontario's interests in the ongoing softwood lumber dispute between Canada and the United States. ...As chief negotiator, Peterson will play a key role in the ongoing discussions with the U.S., federal and other provincial governments. His experience with the previous softwood negotiations will enable him to effectively represent the interests of the province and its forestry sector. In addition, Ontario, along with Quebec, is calling on the federal government for support for individuals and communities that would be impacted by U.S. actions in the softwood lumber dispute, including a loan guarantee program for Canadian companies.

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The kind of attention you can do without

By Russell Wangersky

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada East
Apr 24, 2017
Cape Breton Post

The news is good for a paper mill in Port Hawkesbury, N.S., but the timing? Well, the timing may turn out to be bad indeed. And it’s not just paper, either. ...The thing is, with the decline of printed newspapers and magazine, paper mills are struggling for customers. Provinces, cities, towns and states — depending on large-scale employers like mills — do what they can to improve the chances of their own mills having success. That takes a lot of forms: governments loan money with few strings attached for upgrades, strike deals on power rates, take over reforestation responsibilities, relax pension rules — the list is almost endless, and everyone is doing it, whether they admit it or not. The trick is to find a way to give invisible assistance without it ever being identified as a subsidy — if your help turns out to be judged a subsidy, you run the risk of facing tariffs.

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Woodlot owners worry softwood duties will push them out of business

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada East
Apr 24, 2017
CBC News

Sawmill owners and wood producers are worried their companies won't survive if the U.S. imposes duties on softwood lumber imports from this region, says Rick Doucett, president of the New Brunswick Federation of Woodlot Owners... "Our biggest concern is if [the duties] are too big, the companies can't absorb those and some will go out of business," said Doucett. "Then we lose further competition and further markets." ...Doucett said the biggest difference now is that New Brunswick has consolidated its marketplace and a lot of sawmills have disappeared since 2006, when the two countries signed their last agreement on softwood lumber. New Brunswick policies have allowed J.D. Irving Ltd. and other big forestry companies to harvest even more wood from Crown lands in recent years and ignore private woodlot owners, he said.

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Nova Scotia closer to escaping punishing softwood lumber duties

By Paul Withers

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: United States
Apr 24, 2017
CBC News

The American lumber lobby has decided to exempt Nova Scotia from its list of targets for softwood lumber duties but the province isn't out of the woods yet, provincial Trade Minister Michel Samson said Monday. "While the U.S. Lumber Coalition's recent decision to amend their petition to maintain the exclusion for Nova Scotia was welcome news, it is not clear how Atlantic Canada will be treated in the decision from Commerce tomorrow," Samson said in an emailed response to CBC News. "We are hopeful that the coalition's recommendation will be accepted." The U.S. Department of Commerce is expected announce Tuesday it will levy countervailing duties on Canadian softwood lumber... For decades, the Maritime provinces have been exempted from American duties on imported Canadian lumber because the industry in the United States was satisfied the lumber was not subsidized.

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Exported logs mean lost jobs at local mills

Letter by Tim Johnson, plant manager, Hampton Lumber

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: United States; US West
Apr 24, 2017
Everett Herald-Net

A recent article in The Herald (“Innovative Everett timber firm ships ‘canned’ logs to Asia,” April 10) detailed the Small Business Administration’s recognition of Forest Marketing (Formark) as the region’s Exporter of the Year. Formark’s plan to use shipping containers to send logs to Asia might seem innovative, but there is nothing new or admirable about what their efforts mean for struggling U.S. sawmills. While exporting logs is legal from private lands, there is a reason federal and state laws do not allow log exports from public land. Log exports reduce the number of logs available to local sawmills like our operation in Darrington — mills that create significantly more family-wage jobs than ports do storing logs and loading ships.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Climate Change: Result Of Human Activity In Last Century; Thinning Forests To Combat Issue

Categories: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States
Apr 25, 2017
Counsel and Heal News

Former climate change deniers, what changed your mind?... A graph presented by Quartz shows how human activity is the major cause of the emission of mainly carbon dioxide that plays a major role in climate change. In other words, human activity is catastrophically warming the planet... Now, the question is of preserving and multiplying the number of trees and other plants as a weapon in the struggle against climate change. Is it possible and logical? According to MIT Technology Review, the greenery of Earth is filled with the ability to capture carbon. Hence, several recent studies are investigating how to tweak those tendencies, so that the result is able to have maximum impact on the increasing level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

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Can We Fight Climate Change with Trees and Grass?

By Jamie Condliffe

Categories: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States
Apr 25, 2017
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Can we use trees and other plants as a weapon in the fight against climate change? Earth's greenery comes with natural carbon-capturing abilities, but now several studies are investigating how to tweak those tendencies to have a maximum impact on carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. In 2014, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change announced that plants would have to be a major part of the world’s efforts to capture CO2. The idea would be to have trees and grasses suck up CO2 as they grow, then burn or process them into fuels to generate power while capturing any CO2 produced along the way. This process is known as “bioenergy plus carbon capture and storage,” or BECCS. We’re starting to see increasingly large tests of the technology roll out.

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Wood & Paper Products & Green Building

Researchers look to make cross-laminated timber earthquake-proof

By Robert Dalheim

Categories: Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
Region: United States; US West
Apr 24, 2017
Woodworking Network

PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University researchers have received a $1.5 million National Science Foundation grant to that will help builders use more sustainable timber in high-rise buildings in earthquake-prone areas. As part of the $1.5 million National Science Foundation grant, the researchers will test their designs for a 10-story tall, wooden building by simulating a real earthquake in a laboratory. CLT is a relatively new heavy timber structural material made of lumber layers that are glued together to create thick, solid wood panels. Advocates of CLT say it can be used to construct buildings of equal strength and fire-resistance as those made of steel and concrete. 

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New forest product may bridge public lands polarization

By .H. DeLuca, Dean of the W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation, University of Montana

Categories: Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
Region: United States; US West
Apr 24, 2017
Great Falls Tribune

In this age of changing climate and declining forest health, I believe there’s an enormous opportunity to find common ground through sustainable forest management and mass timber products—specifically, through cross-laminated timber. ...A quiet revolution in wood building products began is just now reaching the US. That revolution is the generation of mass timber products—extremely strong panels and beams created from the glue lamination of boards and slabs—that can be used as structural components in large buildings. These panels help create buildings that are structurally sound and that are actually more resilient in the face of earthquakes or fires. ...In the last few years, this wood product has brought together foresters, environmentalists, lumber mills, green architects, urban planners, and agency personnel around a shared vision for a sustainable future.

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EcoPlanet Bamboo is changing the world, one fallow field at a time

Categories: Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
Region: International
Apr 25, 2017
BOSS Magazine

Bamboo has long been marketed to eco-conscious consumers for a range of niche products. Yet outside of China, where most bamboo goes into three products—shoots for food, bamboo handicrafts, and flooring—bamboo was not a viable raw resource for the world’s largest timber and fiber manufacturing companies or industries. Why not? Because there simply wasn’t a source that could meet security and volume of supply, nor meet the increasingly stringent environmental regulations of western markets. Untapped potential in a myriad of markets that could be disrupted by a sustainable bamboo fiber led EcoPlanet Bamboo CEO and Co-founder, Troy Wiseman, to take on the challenge. “Combined forest landscape restoration and avoided deforestation through a market-driven solution is central to our mission,” he said. “We started the company to address the world’s increasing demand for wood and fiber products.

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Nanyang Technological University's new sports hall The Wave: 5 things to know about the mass engineered timber used to build it

By Charmaine Ng

Categories: Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
Region: International
Apr 24, 2017
The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - Instead of the usual concrete or steel structure commonly seen in Singapore's buildings, Nanyang Technological University's new sports hall was built using mass engineered timber. Known as The Wave, the building features a 72m roof made of seven timber arches. It is the first large-scale building in South-east Asia built with the technology, and is one of four developments in Singapore that have adopted the timber construction method. To produce mass engineered timber, layers of timber panels are glued together for strength and structural stability. Then, they are cut to specific dimensions in factories, before being shipped off for on-site assembly. Here are five characteristics of mass engineered timber.

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