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NEWS RELEASE · 23rd January 2012
Canadian Federal Government
Extending agreement that returned $5 billion to exporters and that ensures future stability is great news for Canadian lumber workers and their families, says International Trade MinisterJanuary 23, 2012

The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, and United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk today signed a two-year extension to the 2006 Canada-United States Softwood Lumber Agreement. The extension secures Canadian softwood lumber access to the U.S. market until 2015.

“The extension of the Softwood Lumber Agreement is great news for Canadian lumber workers and their families,” said Minister Fast. “This extension agreement will bring much-needed stability and predictability to the lumber industry. By extending the agreement, we are sending a clear message that our government is committed to securing predictable access to the U.S. market and strengthening the financial security of
Canadians.”

The 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement, which returned over $5 billion to Canadian exporters at a time when they needed it most, was set to expire on October 12, 2013. Canada and the United States have negotiated an agreement to extend it without modification and will consult on whether a further extension would be appropriate before the new expiration date in 2015. Canada has consulted widely with provincial and industry stakeholders, and they strongly support the extension to 2015.

“With one in five Canadian jobs generated by trade, our government is strongly committed to helping the forestry sector, and other sectors of our economy, expand and succeed in markets around the world,” said Minister Fast. “That’s why we’ll continue standing up for our exporters in markets around the world, including the United States—fighting for their interests and opening doors to new opportunities that will create jobs and prosperity in communities across Canada.”

The agreement to extend the Softwood Lumber Agreement constitutes a treaty under international law. Consistent with Government of Canada policy, the treaty will be tabled in the House of Commons for a period of 21 sitting days. It will come into force once Canada and the United States have notified each other that their respective ratification processes have been completed.