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March 27, 2014 - Press release

Softwood Lumber Agreement: Victory for Central Canada!

March 27, 2014 – Yesterday, the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) ruled in favour of Canada in the dispute over the termination date of export charges related to a 2011 decision under the Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA) between Canada and the United States. The Quebec Forest Industry Council (QFIC) and the Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA) are delighted with this ruling and satisfied with the work accomplished by the team at the federal Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) and the close collaboration that prevailed between Quebec and Ontario as well as with the forest industry of central Canada.

 

“This victory offers a clear illustration of how, when the government of Canada works closely with the provinces of Quebec and Ontario, it is possible to effectively defend the interests of the forest industry of central Canada,” declared Ms. Jamie Lim, President and CEO of the Ontario Forest Industries Association.

 

“The application of export charges following the ruling of the London Court of International Arbitration in 2011 considerably hampered softwood lumber exports from Quebec and Ontario. By acknowledging this fact, the LCIA has confirmed that the forest industry of central Canada had already paid its penalty and there were no longer any grounds for collecting these export charges,” added Mr. André Tremblay, Chief Executive Officer of the Quebec Forest Industry Council. As will be recalled, under the 2011 LCIA ruling, exporters from Quebec and Ontario had to pay additional export charges of 2.6% and 0.1%, respectively, on top of the charges provided for under the SLA.

 

Both CEOs said they were very satisfied that the overpayments would be refunded in full to exporters from central Canada. “We now hope that collaboration between the federal government and central Canada will continue forward just as effectively, so as to implement another provision of the SLA pertaining to the establishment of a bi-national working group tasked with establishing the conditions that would allow the creation of genuine free market for softwood lumber between our two countries,” concluded Ms. Lim and Mr. Tremblay.


About the QFIC
The QFIC is the voice of Québec's forest industry. It represents the interests of companies in the sectors of softwood and hardwood lumber, veneer, pulp, paper, paperboard and boards, as well as engineered wood manufactures. The QFIC numbers more than 98 regular members operating in the softwood and hardwood lumber, veneer, pulp, paper, cardboard and panel sectors of Quebec, as well as 150 associate members. Each year, these companies generate $15.9 billion in business and close to $3 billion in wages and benefits, of which nearly $1.5 billion is returned to governments in the form of taxes paid by companies and workers.

 

About OFIA
The Ontario Forest Industries Association, home to CLA Grading and Inspection, provides a unified voice for the province’s forest products sector and represents member companies ranging from large multinational corporations to family-owned operations. Today, 200,000 Ontario hard-working families in 260 Ontario communities directly and indirectly rely on the forest sector for their livelihoods. Ontario’s forest products sector is a world leader in sustainable forest management.

 

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Sources:

Laurence Drouin
Director, Communications and Public Affairs
Quebec Forest Industry Council (QFIC)
418-657-7916, ext. 411
418-564-7254
laurence.drouin@QFIC.qc.ca

 

Allyson Lemire
Executive Assistant to the President
Ontario Forest Industries Association
416-368-6188
alemire@ofia.com

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