Softwood lumber was on the menu as the President of the Council of Forest Industries was the guest speaker at the monthly Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Quesnel on Thursday.

Susan Yurkovich says while the share of BC lumber exports to the U.S. have went from 84 percent in 2006 down to 59 percent in 2015, the Americans are still the province’s best trade partner.

Yurkovich says that is why getting a new softwood lumber agreement is so important.

She says the forest industry is now bracing for more duties…

“Next week the final date that the department of commerce can determine what the counterveiling duty will be is the 24th and it will become public on the 25th.”

Yurkovich says there will also be an anti dumping preliminary duty at the end of June.

She says they won’t know the combined duty until late this year or early next year and that will only be for four months.

For perspective the last duty averaged 10.4 percent over a nine year period.

Yurkovich says they are confident that they would win again if they were forced to go through litigation as she says they are not subsidized and companies are doing nothing wrong, but she says that is a very onerous process and they would prefer a long term deal.