Richard Garneu, CEO of Canada's Resolute Forest Products, spoke before the Candian Parliament's Standing Committee and made the case for having free trade with the U.S. in softwood lumber. The most recent softwood lumber agreement between Canada and the U.S. was implemented in 2006 and lapsed last October. Now, officials from both countries have less than 100 days to draft a new agreement.
Garneau argued that the previous agreement did not benefit the Canadian forestry industry as some have claimed. Instead, Garneau argued that the 2006 agreement "increased volatility, creating an unpredictable and unstable trade environment between the two large trading partners." He also said that whatever new agreement Canada and the U.S. do draft must be beneficial to all parties; Canada cannot give way to the U.S. in order to avoid going to court.
Canadians have won every legal fight with the United States over softwood lumber. Canada has played by the rules and proven according to the law that its industry is not subsidized, and does not cause injury to any U.S. industry. Softwood lumber producers in Quebec and Ontario need and deserve nothing less than free trade.