U.S. trade officials take step toward reopeining softwood lumber dispute

United States trade officials, on Friday, took the first step toward reopening the Canada U.S. softwood lumber dispute over British Columbia’s pricing method for harvesting mountain-pine-beetle damaged timber.

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk has requested consultations with Canada, as prescribed under the 2006 Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement, with the accusation that the prices being charged to harvest pine-beetle timber on public lands is too low amounting to a subsidy to Canadian companies.

B.C. officials argue that it is the same market-based pricing system that was written into the softwood lumber agreement, which both countries agreed to.