A two-year extension to the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA) has been agreed upon, extending the program to October 2015 and granting stability to the volume softwood trade between the U.S. and Canada.
The SLA was originally signed by the U.S. and Canadian governments without modification, thereby continuing to give Canadian mills free access to the U.S. market unless softwood prices fall below a certain level, activating export charges and volume limitations.
While the extension seems to be welcomed by the Canadian and U.S. lumber industries, the U.S. Lumber Coalition warned Canadian sawmills to abide by the rules or it would lobby the U.S. government to take enforcement steps.
“The coalition will continue to work with the U.S. government to ensure that this agreement is enforced,” commented Steve Swanson, Coalition Chairman. “If Canada does not comply, then the U.S. government must continue to take appropriate enforcement steps to effectively address trade agreement violations by Canada.”