As the softwood lumber dispute drags on, the industry has become accustomed to the punishing duties imposed by the U.S. on the lumber they ship across the border.
Despite the term battle being attached to this situation, there really isn’t much of a war. We can hardly expect to send a wooden horse to the border filled with loggers and expect to take them by surprise. And short of that, we don’t stand much chance of winning this conflict.
We are just too small, too timid, and definitely too accommodating.
When they say we subsidize, we say well, maybe. When they say we are dumping lumber into their markets, our apology, although subtle to some, comes in the form of radical changes to the way we run our industry.
We traipse back and forth between Ottawa and Washington, waiting for the big boys to tell us what their next demand will be.
We drag our whining and complaining through the international courts and they say we are right, but the big boys just keep on filing their grievances and collecting cash at the border.
Although the duties are held in trust at the border, waiting for the definite ruling, it must still be submitted and still be incorporated in the cost of doing business.
When will Canada stand up on its hind legs and tell the Americans if they want our lumber they have to stop bashing us on the head?
Their voracious construction industry can’t survive without our lumber. Other foreign countries cannot fill the huge market share from Canada.
It’s time our lumber barons went toe to toe with the American lumber barons, and then we’ll see who’s king of the sawdust pile.
Get rid of the government lackeys who just muddy the water. They have conference calls to discuss possible preliminary meetings which might or might not lead to negotiations on how they plan to proceed with actual negotiations.
Every single twitch of the U.S. political nerve stalls the entire process.
Strip away the bureaucrats, the front men, the politicians and the mediators.
Lay it on the table and ask, “Do you want our lumber or not?”
If the answer is yes, then ante up. If the answer is no, then we need to get on with the business of marketing our valuable resource to markets who want it.
From the Quesnel Cariboo Observer