Ottawa, ON — Kyle Seeback, Conservative Shadow Minister for International Trade, released the following statement in response to the American Department of Commerce indicating it will maintain its duties on the import of softwood lumber.

“Yet again, the US has applied penalties on Canadian softwood lumber. It took the previous Conservative government less than 100 days to get a deal on the softwood lumber file, but after eight years of Justin Trudeau, Canadian lumber producers and forestry workers have not gotten anything from this government in the form of a new Softwood Lumber Agreement that would protect our forestry sector.

“Conservatives have repeatedly advocated for solutions to this crisis, but our efforts to demand action on this file have been met with silence and failure from this Liberal Government. They refused to listen to the solutions proposed by the forestry sector, they’ve failed to advocate for Canadian lumber at the diplomatic and industry level in Washington DC, they failed to raise it with the importance it deserved when President Biden visited Ottawa earlier this year, and they failed to take the issue seriously both when my colleagues and I raised it with Minister Ng directly at the International Trade Committee, and during our study on softwood at the same committee.

“Canadians deserve answers on the 8-year delay between the expiration of the last Softwood Lumber Agreement and today. Canadian forestry workers need meaningful action from the Liberal government to finally deliver a long-term agreement that will bring stability to their sector. Currently, the Liberals are not doing the essential work required to get both sides back to the negotiating table.

“We are fully prepared to assist in helping bring a deal forward, the Minister needs only ask. We need a united Canadian approach to this issue, but the Liberals must first apologize to Canadian forestry workers who have been left without the stability they need because of the failures of this government.

“Common Sense Conservatives will bring home a strong, stable forestry sector that brings powerful paychecks for workers right across our country.”