Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: April 26, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

This is a battle with more than two fronts

Tree Frog Forestry News
April 26, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

The softwood lumber ‘war’ isn’t a clear-cut battle of Canada vs. the US. We have Canadians speaking out against the duties. Susan Yurkovich, president of the BC Lumber Trade Council is quoted hundreds of times in today’s news saying “We are resilient and we are going to continue to fight this fight and we are ultimately going to be successful.” The Premier of BC intends to thwart US protectionism by stockpiling lumber for future housing projects. In Alberta the Forest Products Association is calling the ruling “baseless and unfounded”, and the Ontario Forest Industries Association claims sanctions are “unjust, unlawful … and will hurt our middle class”. 

And, not surprisingly, many US voices are supporting the duties that will be applied to “subsidized Canadian lumber”. Executive Director of the Montana Wood Products Association says “We’re happy”. US Coalition legal chair Cameron Krauss adds, “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”, and The Associated Contract Loggers and Truckers of Minnesota feel “it’s about time. This will be good for Minnesota and the timber industry.”

Here’s the twist – some in the US are not in support of the duties. US homebuilding stocks are down as of yesterday, and the price of a single-family home is predicted to increase by as much as $1,200 per home. The head of the US National Association of Home Builders says, “NAHB respectfully disagrees with comments made by Commerce Secretary Ross that the tariffs on Canadian lumber imports into the U.S. will have little effect on the cost of housing”, adding that US homebuyers will have to pick up the resulting 6.4% increase in the cost of wood.

With 43 stories on the softwood issue in today’s news, it’s difficult to focus on anything else. For those who find a story we missed – we apologize; for those who are overwhelmed by the number of stories in today’s news – we apologize again!

–Tree Frog Editors

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Forestry

Silver Creek residents anxious after evacuation

By Martha Wickett
Vernon Morning Star
April 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…They told her the little creek where they both get their water was starting to flood over onto Salmon River Road. …The residents of 10 homes in the 1600 block of Salmon River Road in Silver Creek were evacuated Saturday evening as a precaution, but were allowed to return home Sunday afternoon. “At this point they don’t know what has caused it, if it’s completely natural or whether something has caused it,” Blackburn said. Blackburn and her neighbour had organized a community meeting in Silver Creek about a week earlier to raise awareness of logging that has occurred and logging being proposed by Tolko in the watershed. …She said the community has created a petition requesting a consultation meeting with Tolko, but hasn’t received a response yet.

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Action needed to reverse forest jobs decline

By Randy Sunderman
North Thompson Times
April 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Economist Randy Sunderman says more needs to be done to help B.C.’s forest industry.” The forest sector has long been the backbone of the economy in many rural communities in British Columbia. However, over the past 16 years the contribution of the forest sector to B.C., and particularly rural B.C., has steadily declined. One of the most unfortunate impacts has been in the value-added wood processing sector. This sector has long been recognized for its incremental value from each tree harvested. In the 1990s, the secondary wood sector was seen as a key opportunity to diversify and grow the wealth of the forest sector economy. According to the Canadian Forest Service, the number of secondary wood manufacturers grew by 24 per cent, while employment grew by 21 per cent between 1990 and 1999. 

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Columbia River Revelstoke candidates talk forestry

By Carolyn Grant
Kimberley Bulletin
April 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

This week’s question is particularly timely given the recent softwood lumber decision by the United States. What are your plans to both protect the riding’s forestry industry as well as ensure sustainable stewardship over forestry lands? Samson Boyer, Green Party; Justin Hooles, Independent; Doug Clovechok, BC Liberals; Gerry Taft, NDP

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Report: Aging workers, forestry woes hinder Maine’s economy

By Darren Fishell
Bangor Daily News
April 26, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

PORTLAND, Maine — Watchful eyes on Maine’s economy have started to track the state’s prime working age population and the potential of its tree harvest alongside other metrics of socio-economic health. The Maine Development Foundation’s latest annual report added those measures to the assessment of the state’s economy, pointing to the decline in people between the ages of 18 and 64 as a broad economic threat. And the state’s recent balance of tree growth and harvesting, it found, is headed in the wrong direction. …The report also raised concern that the state’s not making the most of its forest resources, with still more room for sustainable harvesting, according to figures from state officials. The report said the change “may be related to a reduction in certain wood fiber markets.”

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Papua New Guinea Forestry to reduce log exports

The National
April 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

HUNDRED per cent processing of forest products in the country is an objective by 2020, according to PNG Forest Association. The forestry sector had less than three years to meet the government’s target of 100 per cent processing, PNGFA policy and aid coordination manager Dambis Kaip told The National following a recent wood processing workshop in Port Moresby. “The Government has made the decision in the 2010 medium-term policy that they wanted all new timber allocations to be 100 per cent processed,” he said. He said the government was presently focused on the dual policy of log exports and processing, so come 2020, they should focus on processing alone.

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NZ’s largest logging industry event planned for June

By Forest Industry Engineering Association
Scoop.co.nz
April 26, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

…Local contractors, individually and collectively, are currently working hard on improving their safety, productivity and on-site efficiencies to meet this demand. As part of that drive, the Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA) is running the second two-yearly technology event, HarvestTECH 2017, in Rotorua on 20-21 June 2017. …“Steep slope logging though isn’t the only focus for the 2017 programme,” says FIEA Director, Brent Apthorp. “HarvestTECH will also cover new technologies and operating practices in small woodlot harvesting, harvest planning, mechanisation and automation.” Those attending will also get an insight into some truly innovative harvesting operations. …In addition to two days of tech updates, two field tours will also be showcasing new innovative technology and logging practices in local forests.

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Scottish tree experts discover threatened conifer species in Chile

By Sarah Cosgrove
Horticulture Week
April 25, 2017
Category: Forestry, Company & Business News
Region: International

Tree experts from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE), Benmore Botanic Garden, and the Perthshire Conifer Conservation Programme have made new conifer discoveries in Chile and gathered significant seed collections from a range of species. The team discovered two previously unknown populations of the threatened Chilean Plum Yew (Prumnopitys andina), one in the Andes and one in the central depression. As many of the valleys where this species grows have been flooded for hydroelectric schemes, the global population is in decline, so finding the new pockets of the trees gives hope that there may be further as-yet undiscovered populations in isolated areas. …The seeds will now be grown on in specialist facilities at the RGBE, and Cano will study their population genetics for his PhD.

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Company & Business News

Canada vows to fight ‘unfair and punitive duty’ as Trump slaps tariff on softwood lumber

By Drew Hasselback 
The Financial Post
April 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

Wilbur Ross, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, said stiff new tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber demonstrate the readiness of U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration to crack down on what it considers to be unfair trade policies. “This administration is much more enforcement-oriented than the previous one,” Ross said in an interview on Bloomberg Television on Tuesday. “Enforcement is very much on the forefront in this administration.” The U.S. Commerce Department has slapped import duties ranging from three per cent to 24 per cent on U.S.-bound shipments from Canadian forestry companies. Canadian industry officials say the Trump Administration’s move is illegal and vow to fight. They dismiss the Commerce Department’s measures as posturing ahead of future trade talks.  

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U.S. Delays Exclusion Decision on Softwood Lumber Duties

Government of Nova Scotia
April 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

The Government of Nova Scotia is disappointed by the United States Department of Commerce’s announcement today, April 25, that it is delaying a decision on a request to be excluded from countervailing duties on softwood lumber and to temporarily impose duties until a final decision is made.  “We are disappointed by the announcement and by the decision to impose countervailing duties until a final decision is made,” said Trade Minister Michel Samson. “We remain determined to get excluded as quickly as possible as industry and government have worked very hard to validate our long-standing exclusion which reflects the fact that lumber producers here compete on a level playing field with United States industry.” 

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Trade minister courts China for softwood as US announces duties on Canadian lumber

By Mike Blanchfield
CBC News
April 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada

With Canada and the United States at war over softwood lumber, the Liberal government decided the time was right to look eastward for a new customer: China. …Sound familiar? It happened in September 2005, between Liberal prime minister Paul Martin and Hu Jintao, then the most powerful person in China. …”We need a strategy,” said Jiang. “Otherwise, we fall back into the traditional kind of dynamics: we go to China when we need to, when we face barriers with the U.S., and when times are a little bit better we forget about China.” In 2011, China became British Columbia’s top market for softwood lumber exports for the first time, surpassing the U.S., but those transpacific exports have since declined relative to the U.S.

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U.S. ‘loses trade ruling after trade ruling’: Premier Wall on newest lumber dispute

By Adam Hunter
CBC News
April 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

Premier Brad Wall says while the incoming tariffs on Canadian lumber exports to the U.S., which will range from three to 24 per cent, are serious — they’re not unexpected. “When this has happened in the past, Americans lose trade ruling after trade ruling,” Wall said… One option is potential retaliatory measures against the U.S. Wall indicated the country had done something similar during the country-of-origin-labelling dispute surrounding Canadian beef. “Their mid-term elections are only a year and a half away — we should be very strategic with the list,” Wall said… “They have more to lose than to gain if there’s going to be some sort of retaliation,” Wall said, but added the country needs to have a rational approach. The Premier said the upcoming discussions with the U.S. is an opportunity for the country to upgrade Canada’s own asks, just as the U.S. is looking to do if or when NAFTA is re-opened.  

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Homebuilders slide after Trump administration announces a 20% tariff on Canadian lumber

By Jonathan Garber
Markets Insider
April 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

Homebuilding stocks are sliding on Tuesday morning, with the S&P 500 Homebuilding Index down 1.4%, after US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said his agency will impose a 20% tariff on Canadian softwood lumber imports. “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 by phone ahead of the announcement.  While most of the index is seeing some selling in early US trade, PulteGroup is the biggest laggard, down about 4.8% after reporting its first-quarter results.  Here’s a look at the performance of some of the other major homebuilders in early Tuesday trade: DR Horton 1.85%, KB Home -2.47%, Lennar -1.43%, Toll Brothers -1.34% [END]

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Canada foreign minister on Trump tariffs: ‘We’re going to play hard’

By Patrick Gillespie
CNN
April 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

NEW YORK — Canada is ready to play hard ball with President Trump. Canadian leaders are pushing back after the Trump administration slapped 20% tariffs Monday night on Canadian lumber, along with individual tariffs on five specific firms that ranged from 3% to 24%. “When it comes to defending Canada’s economic interests, we’re going to play hard,” Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland told CNN Tuesday. Freeland’s sharp reminder: We like to be nice, but don’t mess with us…  “The big losers in the softwood lumber dispute are American consumers,” Freeland argued. “This is going to cost middle-class Americans who want to buy a house a lot of money.” Freeland stopped short of saying Canada would retaliate with new tariffs against US exports to Canada. Instead, she pointed out that Canada has won every court case on lumber against the US, suggesting the tariffs would be challenged in court.

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Forest sector will fight for jobs and communities affected by US duties

By Forest Products Association of Canada
Canada Newswire
April 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada

OTTAWA – The U.S. Department of Commerce has announced preliminary countervailing duties on Canadian softwood lumber. …”These duties stand to hurt hard working men and women in our mill communities across Canada,” says Derek Nighbor, CEO, Forest Products Association of Canada. “The duties are unwarranted and without merit. We 100% support the federal government’s “Team Canada” position and we must have a fair and equitable trading structure for both our industry and U.S. customers.” …”We will stand up for our industry’s workers and impacted mill communities in Canada and call on federal and provincial governments to work with us to ensure they can maintain their livelihoods during this difficult period.” says Nighbor.

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Softwood lumber tariff could hike U.S. single-family home prices by $1,236: study

By Jesse Ferreras
Global News
April 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

The average price of an single-family home in the United States could jump by $1,236 due to U.S. President Donald Trump‘s tariff on Canadian softwood lumber exports. That’s according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), which acts on behalf of the building industry across the United States, in an economic analysis that it published on Tuesday. “NAHB respectfully disagrees with comments made by Commerce Secretary Ross that the tariffs on Canadian lumber imports into the U.S. will have little effect on the cost of housing,” NAHB chair Granger MacDonald said in a statement… Lumber prices have already grown by 22 per cent since January, and.. those increases have already added almost $3,600 to the price of a new single-family home. Dietz estimated that every time a U.S. home price increases by $1,000, it keeps approximately 150,000 households from being able to qualify for a mortgage. That means as many as 450,000 households have already been priced out of a mortgage this year.

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Updated: New U.S. levies on Canadian softwood “unwarranted”: industry official

By Gordon Hamilton
Business in Vancouver
April 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

The Trump administration has imposed punishing duties on Canadian softwood lumber exports in response to complaints by the U.S. lumber sector that Canada subsidizes its forest industry. Sawmillers will begin paying countervailing duties averaging close to 20% on lumber shipments to the U.S. beginning May 1. The U.S. Department of Commerce department ruling of subsidy is the first of two blows expected by the Canadian softwood sector. A second anti-dumping duty determination is to be announced June 23. B.C. is expected to bear the brunt of the American trade action as its industry accounts for $4.6 billion a year in lumber shipments to the U.S. – more than half of total Canadian lumber exports to the U.S. …Council co-chair Duncan Davies, CEO of Vancouver-based Interfor, said the immediate impact on his company will be reduced profitability. He referred to the U.S. action as “a shakedown,” by U.S. producers.

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Softwood firms seeking exemptions

By James Risdon
The Chronicle Herald
April 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

J.D. Irving’s lumber operations in New Brunswick — and its one mill in Truro —gained a competitive advantage over other Canadian forestry companies Tuesday as the United States imposed harsh countervailing duties on softwood lumber imports. Those countervailing duties levied by the U.S. Department of Commerce will hit Canadian softwood lumber exporters starting May 1. All but five big softwood lumber producers are being hit with countervailing duties of 19.88 per cent… Then, there’s Saint John, New Brunswick-based J.D. Irving. That company is being told it has to pay a countervailing duty of only 3.02 per cent… Despite the U.S. Department of Commerce’s decision to hit all other Canadian producers with countervailing duties of 19.88 per cent starting May 1, many industry insiders and political leaders are hopeful Atlantic Canadian companies can be exempted from tariffs on softwood lumber exports to the United States.advantage.

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Loonie, peso fall on fears of U.S. trade war

By Patti Domm
CNBC News
April 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

The Canadian dollar fell to a 14-month low and the Mexican peso was under pressure, after the U.S. slapped tariffs on the Canadian lumber industry, sparking fears the U.S. will get tougher on trade with the neighbors on its northern and southern borders. However, analysts say the fears appear overblown since the U.S.-Canadian dispute over soft lumber dates back to the 1980s and has previously involved tariffs. They also say this is not an indication of broader protectionism that markets had feared could come from the Trump administration. The Canadian dollar fell nearly 1 percent against the U.S. dollar, while the peso was down more than 1.2 percent… Besides currencies, U.S. homebuilder stocks moved on the news, declining in early trading Tuesday. But Canadian lumber companies, like Canfor, Norbord and Interfor were all higher, after the tariffs were seen as less severe than expected.

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Trudeau’s Reward for Courting Trump Is a Trade War on Lumber

By Josh Wingrove
Bloomberg
April 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

Justin Trudeau has always played nice with Donald Trump. The refugee-hugging liberal bit his tongue, flooded Washington with envoys, feted Ivanka Trump on Broadway and relentlessly talked up Canada-U.S. ties. It hasn’t worked… “Think of this as the violin Trump gets to play and set the mood of the place,” said Eric Miller, a former Canadian diplomat who is now a Washington-based trade consultant with the Rideau Potomac Strategy Group. “It’s a great way to underline America First to the Europeans, Japanese and others, if you actually take a hard line with Canada.” Canada is hardly a poster-child trade offender for Trump. It’s the number-one buyer of U.S. goods with a largely balanced trade relationship (totaling $635 billion in 2016, according to U.S. census data), a peaceful next-door neighbor and among the closest U.S. allies.

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Lumber and Dairy Trade Disputes: No Need to Freak Out

By Simon Lester
CATO Institute
April 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

U.S. – Canada trade relations are in the news, and not in a good way… This is a long-standing U.S. – Canada trade dispute, and it is picking up again, as the Department of Commerce made a preliminary determination of countervailable subsidies on imports of softwood lumber from Canada… Before anybody panics, let me reiterate that this is nothing new… While there are a lot of potentially system-destroying trade actions from the Trump administration to worry about, this one is just the usual, routine kind of trade remedy action. Not that I support this sort of thing, of course, but it’s part of the system. What will happen is that Canada will challenge the decision to impose duties, through complaints at the WTO and under NAFTA, and there will be a ruling on whether the Commerce Department acted consistently with trade rules in imposing the duties. This is trade litigation, not a trade war. 

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“We are not going to be rattled”- says Head of BC Lumber Trade Council

By Elaine Macdonald-Meisner
250 News
April 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

Prince George, B.C.- “This long standing fight needs to end” those are the words of Susan Yurkovich, President of the BC Lumber Trade Council in reaction to the countervailing duties levelled against Canadian lumber exports to the U.S. “These duties are unwarranted, and this determination is completely without merit,” said Yurkovich, “This new trade action is driven by the same protectionist lumber lobby in the U.S. whose sole purpose is to create artificial supply constraints on lumber and drive prices up for their benefit, at the expense of American consumers.”… Yurkovich says it’s not uncommon when you are trying to negotiate a deal that one side tries to rattle the other “We are not going to be rattled. We are resilient and we are going to continue to fight this fight and we are ultimately going to be successful.”

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Montana timber industry leaders applaud efforts to tax Canadian products

By David Erickson
The Missoulian
April 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

Timber industry leaders in Montana are applauding the results of a federal investigation that found Canada unfairly subsidizes its timber business, allowing Canadian companies to undercut U.S. businesses with lower prices and lots of volume. To level the playing field, Canadian lumber is now expected to face new countervailing duties – an import tax – ranging from 3 percent to 24 percent, starting next week… Julia Altemus, the executive director of the Montana Wood Products Association, said 7,000 jobs in Montana depend on the timber industry, including loggers, truck haulers and approximately 800 people directly employed by lumber mills and other manufacturers like Roseburg Forest Products in Missoula. “This has definitely paved the way for a better negotiated agreement and gives us some leverage,” she said. “We’re happy.”

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Get ready for ‘mother of all negotiations’ says Brian Mulroney

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
April 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

If the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has been as disastrous for the American economy as U.S. President Donald Trump says it was, it should be cancelled, former prime minister Brian Mulroney said Tuesday at a speech at the Canadian Club of Vancouver. But the trade and employment figures over the last 30 years show it hasn’t been, said Mulroney, who negotiated both the initial Free Trade Agreement with the U.S. and NAFTA with the U.S. and Mexico… But the most immediate threat to the Canadian economy is not NAFTA, but softwood lumber duties, he said… “It is not, as alleged, about subsidies in Canada,” he said. “It is really about restricting supply and increasing prices and profits for a few in the United States at the expense of home builders and potential homeowners.”… Mulroney said he expects negotiations with the U.S. when NAFTA is reopened will be tough. “We’re getting ready for the mother of all negotiations,” he said.

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UPDATE: Province will buy lumber to protect mills: Clark

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
April 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Premier Christy Clark says one of the strategies B.C. can use to protect small lumber producers from U.S. trade action is to buy lumber to stockpile for future housing projects. Clark visited a Maple Ridge remanufacturing mill Tuesday to respond to the U.S. Commerce Department’s preliminary decision to impose duties of about 20 per cent on Canadian lumber exports, making it retroactive for the first time in the long-running dispute. Clark said small producers are “the meat in the sandwich” in a battle between major players, and she expected to speak Tuesday to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about additional Employment Insurance and other measures that could help affected workers.

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Here we go again on softwood

By Steve MacNaull
Kelowna Daily Courier
April 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

It’s deja vu as Okanagan lumber mills grapple yet again with the Americans in a softwood lumber dust-up. “The whole Canadian industry has to be careful about what it says because the Americans will use it against us, just as they have in the past,” said Nick Arkle, chief forester at Gorman Bros. Lumber in West Kelowna. Yet, Arkle isn’t particularly cautious when, in the next breath, he blasts the U.S. …Besides Gorman Bros., which employs 300 making one-inch boards, the other big Okanagan producer is Vernon-based Tolko Industries, which has lumber and plywood plants in Kelowna, Armstrong and Lumby. While Arkle spoke out, Tolko deferred comment to the B.C. Lumber Trade Council, which held a conference call with reporters Tuesday to condemn the countervailing duty.
“The duties are unwarranted and without merit,” said council president Susan Yurkovich. 

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U.S. softwood tariff hits home

By Monica Lamb-Yorski
Williams Lake Tribune
April 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jordan Townsend, West Fraser Sawmill general manager in Williams Lake, said West Fraser is being represented by the BC Lumber Council which has vowed to vigorously defend the industry and workers against the U.S. trade action announced this week.” Forestry companies in Williams Lake are being hit with some of the highest softwood lumber tariffs announced by the U.S. Department of Commerce this week. …Paul French, president of United Steelworkers Local 1-425 that represents roughly 900 forestry workers in 100 Mile House and Williams Lake, said he was not surprised and actually thought the rates may have been even higher. “I won’t say I am relieved because we still have the anti-dumping tariffs further on,” French told the Tribune Tuesday. “We have some certainty with the numbers but where we are going to wind up is still out there.”

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U.S. duties on lumber shake Island industry

By Andrew Duffy & Lindsay Kines
Victoria Times Colonist
April 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

The U.S.’s levying of “anti-subsidy” duties on Canadian lumber imports sent a shiver through the coastal forest industry and a tremor through the provincial election campaign Tuesday. …“Certainly we are concerned about it — it means higher lumber prices for the U.S., which could curtail business in Canada,” said Rick Wangler, vice-president of Steelworkers Local 1937, which counts 3,000 Island forest workers among its membership. “This certainly has everybody on edge.” …Rick Jeffery, president of the Coast Forest Products Association, which represents forest companies, said the industry has taken steps to ensure it can withstand this kind of trade action. “We have done a bunch of market diversification and invested hundreds of millions in our mills to make them technologically advanced and efficient, [and] we have developed new product lines,” he said. “We are not as reliant on the U.S. market.”

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Clark talking tough on timber in Maple Ridge mill

By Phil Melnychuk
The Abbotsford News
April 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C. Liberal leader Christy Clark was talking tough Tuesday in Maple Ridge after the U.S. suddenly slapped duties of 20 per cent on Canadian lumber, starting next month. “We are here for you. We are going to fight for you and we are not going to give up this fight until it is won,” Clark said at Partap Forest Products on River Road. …C.J. Saini, supervisor at Partap Forest Products, doesn’t yet know the duties his company will face. But previously when the U.S. has imposed duties, it’s hurt the Canadian lumber industry. “It is premature to predict anything, but definitely it is going to affect,” Saini said. He was confident though that when the duties are challenged in court, “the results will come out positive. “Its immediate effect on the jobs is my concern.”

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Canfor Reports Results for First Quarter of 2017

By Canfor
Canada Newswire
April 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – Canfor Corporation today reported net income attributable to shareholders of $66.1 million, or $0.50 per share, for the first quarter of 2017, compared to shareholder net income of $38.0 million, or $0.29 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2016 and a net income attributable to shareholders of $26.0 million, or $0.20 per share, for the first quarter of 2016. The Company’s adjusted shareholder net income for the first quarter of 2017 was $59.3 million, or $0.45 per share, compared to an adjusted shareholder net income of $37.7 million, or $0.29 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2016, and adjusted shareholder net income of $20.9 million, or $0.16 per share for the first quarter of 2016.

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Financial pain from lumber tariffs but no job losses at Okanagan forestry company

By Blaine Gaffney
Global News
April 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

The countervail duties imposed by the United States on softwood lumber products from Canada are going to hurt the financial bottom line for West Kelowna’s Gorman Bros. Lumber. “The fact is it’s money taken from us,” says company spokesperson Nick Arkle. “It’s very significant. Anytime you get hit with a 20 per cent duty it’s considered punitive.” But the new duties shouldn’t hurt the finances of Gorman’s 1200 employees, including 300 at the West Kelowna operations. …The company has reduced its reliance on the American market by finding new, off-shore customers. “Ten years ago we were selling to 15 countries around the world. Today we sell to 30 countries,” says Arkle who expects the duties will eventually be reduced through negotiations.

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Unifor warns of job losses from U.S. lumber tariffs

By Gary Rinne
TB Newswatch
April 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

THUNDER BAY — The union that represents thousands of Canadian forest industry workers is warning that new American softwood lumber tariffs pose a risk to as many as 25,000 jobs in this country, and wants the federal government to take steps to cushion the blow. But a spokesperson for Resolute Forest Products, which has lumber operations in Thunder Bay and Ignace, describes the U.S. government’s proposal as “a shot across the bow,” and insists that it is not merited. Seth Kursman, a company vice-president, told tbnewswatch.com that lumber from Ontario and Quebec is not subsidized, and the company believes its products should have free, unencumbered access to the U.S. marketplace.

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U.S. softwood lumber duties unjust – Ontario Forest Industries Association

CBC News
April 26, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada


A Toronto-based forestry group is calling on the federal government to support the country’s forestry industry in the wake of newly-imposed U.S. sanctions on softwood lumber exports. …”These unjust, unlawful duties that have just recently been announced, will absolutely hurt our middle class, the 57,000 hard-working men and women across rural and Northern Ontario, that depend on the forest sector for their livelihood,” said Jamie Lim, president and CEO of the Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA). “This is about people. This is about hard-working people.” Lim says the OFIA wants the federal and provincial governments to launch a guaranteed loan program for forestry companies to help them weather the duties.

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Trump’s Canadian lumber tariff could cost US homebuyers about $1,200 per house

By Diana Olick
CNBC News
April 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States

It takes a lot of lumber to build a house, and the price of that wood is going way up.  A new duty imposed by the U.S. Commerce Department on Canadian softwood lumber is designed to level the playing field between Canadian and U.S. lumber producers, and just the anticipation of it has pushed lumber prices higher by about 22 percent since the start of this year. …It’s great for U.S. lumber producers, not so great for U.S. homebuilders, who inevitably pay the price. “NAHB is deeply disappointed in this short-sighted action by the U.S. Department of Commerce that will ultimately do nothing to resolve issues causing the U.S.-Canadian lumber trade dispute but will negatively harm American consumers and housing affordability,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald, a homebuilder and developer from Kerrville, Texas. The cost of this new duty will increase Canadian lumber costs for U.S. customers by 6.4 percent, according to the National Association of Home Builders, and that will be passed on to homebuyers. 

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Oregon timber execs hope new Canadian duty leads to better times

By Jeff Manning
The Oregonian
April 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States, US West

Oregon timber executives said Tuesday they will consider adding jobs, instituting new shifts, and investing more in existing Northwest mills as a result of a new 20 percent duty on Canadian softwood lumber announced by the White House. …”This is all about jobs,” said Steve Swanson of the Swanson Group, owner of a plywood mill in Springfield and sawmills in Roseburg and Glendale. “We should be able to add a few employees — 25 to 30 workers — in each of our sawmills.” …Andrew Miller, of Portland-based Stimson Lumber, is hopeful the U.S. trade negotiators can use the duty to extract a major concession from the Canadians — a flat quota that would allow Canadians a maximum of 25 percent of the U.S. market. “We all have unused capacity,” Miller said. “There are ample privately owned logs, most of which are going to China today. If we have the confidence we’re not going to be overwhelmed with Canadian product, we can compete with anybody.”

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Citing new tariff, Jackman lumber mill to add jobs, second shift

By Anthony Brino
Bangor Daily News
April 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

The Dover-Foxcroft-based Pleasant River Lumber company is expanding its Jackman sawmill in anticipation of increased demand for American lumber amid the U.S. government’s plans to levy tariffs on Canadian softwood. In a media release Tuesday, Pleasant River Lumber said it is expanding its Moose River spruce mill in Jackman to add drying capacity this summer and hire up to 20 new workers for a second shift starting this fall. “We have confidence with the recent tariff announcement a level playing field will exist that will allow us to invest in and expand our facilities in Maine,” said Jason Brochu, co-president of the family-owned Pleasant River Lumber.

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Midwest timber industry welcomes tariffs on Canadian lumber

By Steve Karnowski
Associated Press in the Star Tribune
April 25, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

MINNEAPOLIS — The upper Midwest timber industry is welcoming the Trump administration’s announcement that it’s imposing tariffs averaging 20 percent on softwood lumber entering the United States from Canada. The industry has been struggling in Minnesota and Wisconsin in recent years. The housing market crash in 2008 cut demand for softwood lumber products such as pine 2×4 studs and other kinds of boards used to build homes, which are among the products affected by the administration’s move. So industry groups in both states saw Monday’s announcement as good news for communities with sawmills, and for loggers who supply them. …”It’s about time. This will be good for Minnesota and the timber industry. It’s been frustrating to the timber industry for years to see full rail cars heading south from Canada,” said Scott Dane, executive director of the Gilbert-based Associated Contract Loggers and Truckers of Minnesota.

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Scottish tree experts discover threatened conifer species in Chile

By Sarah Cosgrove
Horticulture Week
April 25, 2017
Category: Forestry, Company & Business News
Region: International

Tree experts from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE), Benmore Botanic Garden, and the Perthshire Conifer Conservation Programme have made new conifer discoveries in Chile and gathered significant seed collections from a range of species. The team discovered two previously unknown populations of the threatened Chilean Plum Yew (Prumnopitys andina), one in the Andes and one in the central depression. As many of the valleys where this species grows have been flooded for hydroelectric schemes, the global population is in decline, so finding the new pockets of the trees gives hope that there may be further as-yet undiscovered populations in isolated areas. …The seeds will now be grown on in specialist facilities at the RGBE, and Cano will study their population genetics for his PhD.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Cross laminated timber used as new Sequim classroom installation begins

The Daily World
April 25, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Installation began Monday on a new modular classroom building made from cross laminated timber (CLT) at Greywolf Elementary School in Sequim. The panels were created from timber sourced from the Olympic Peninsula and were manufactured in Oregon, making the CLT project one of the first in Washington state to use local wood. …The classrooms are part of a statewide pilot project overseen by the Department of Enterprise Services to address the need to create more classrooms and pioneer the use of CLT in Washington State. Sequim School District is one of five districts — Mt. Vernon, Seattle, Wapato and Toppenish are the others — having classrooms built from CLT for kindergarteners through third graders. Four new classrooms will be open to Greywolf Elementary students at the start of the 2017-18 school year.

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Construction materials questioned in College Park fire

By Jayne Miller
WBAL Baltimore
April 25, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Fire investigators got their first look Tuesday at what may have led to a massive five-alarm fire in College Park that burned an apartment building under construction. Prince George’s County fire investigators were raised in a fire truck’s bucket early Tuesday afternoon to examine the area of the apartment building where Monday’s fire seems to have started. …Fire officials cite the type of materials used in construction — all permitted by code — as a factor in how hard the fire was to fight. “Our biggest challenge is access to the building. It’s a lightweight wood truss construction, and a majority of all the fire was in the roof area of the trusses, which immediately started to collapse,” Prince George’s County Assistant Fire Chief Alan Doubleday said. “Once they are loaded excessively by water or exposed to fire is when they have a large potential for collapse.”

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Photos: UMass Amherst opens new Design Building, largest modern wood structure in the Northeastern US

Mass Live
April 25, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

AMHERST—The University of Massachusetts Amherst on Tuesday celebrated the official opening of its new Design Building, the largest modern wood building in the northeastern United States and one of the first institutional buildings in the region to employ an engineered timber structure. The building was designed by Boston architectural firm Leers Weinzapfel Associates and construction was managed by Suffolk Construction of Boston. Constructed with cross-laminated timber (CLT) and glue-laminated columns, the 87,000-square-foot facility is the most advanced CLT building in the U.S. and saves the equivalent of over 2,300 metric tons of carbon when compared to a traditional energy-intensive steel and concrete building, according to the university. 

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