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B.C. Coast braces for softwood lumber battle

The largest lumber producer on B.C.’s coast believes it is in a better position to weather the storm of a softwood lumber dispute with the U.S. than it was in the early 2000s, when punitive damages on exports crippled the company.

Don Demens, chief executive of Western Forest Products, said the firm is not happy about being in the position of once again facing the prospect of having duties imposed on exports to the U.S., but he’s confident the company can handle it.

“We think we are in better position than we ever have been before, but we think this is a difficult time and we will have to work our way through it.”

The 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement expired in October 2015. In the absence of a trade agreement, the U.S. lumber industry last fall filed anti-dumping and countervailing duty complaints against the Canadian industry. In them, the U.S. industry alleges the Canadian softwood industry is unfairly subsidized and dumps lumber into the U.S. market.

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