April 27th, 2017

Liberals must come clean on softwood negotiations

OTTAWA – The NDP is calling on the Liberal government to come clean about their softwood lumber negotiations with the Obama administration. According to reports, Liberal officials chose to end negotiations because they believed they could secure a better deal with incoming President Trump.

“The Liberals have a lot of explaining to do,” said NDP Trade Critic Tracey Ramsey. “They walked away from negotiations with the Obama administration because they thought they could do better with Donald Trump.”

On Tuesday the Trump administration applied exorbitant tariffs of up to 24% on Canadian softwood lumber, with additional tariffs expected next month. The Liberal government has not offered any new support for the 200,000 Canadians whose jobs are on the line. In addition to short-term support, the Liberals must outline a long-term forestry strategy that includes greater diversification and a focus on growing Canadian value-added jobs.

“Not only has the Liberal government been weak in their response to these unfair tariffs but now it seems tariffs could have been avoided entirely had Canada not walked away from negotiations,” said Ramsey. “Minister Freeland owes Canadians an explanation, especially as the Liberals now admit that U.S. tariffs will lead to job losses.”

The Liberal Foreign Affairs Minister is set to appear before the Standing Committee on International Trade on Tuesday, May 2nd.