Progress being made in softwood lumber dispute, says Irving
'We're coming together as a region'
J.D. Irving CEO Jim Irving says eastern Canada and New England are coming together to work towards a resolution of the softwood lumber dispute between Canada and the U.S.
The Americans increased tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber to 27 per cent in June. Irving is one of the business delegates at this week's meeting of New England governors and Eastern Canadian premiers in Charlottetown, and a member of a panel discussion Monday about the issue.
He said the Maine Governor Paul Lepage has pledged to work with his counterparts from around the region to ask U.S. President Donald Trump for tariff exemptions covering all the Atlantic provinces plus Quebec.
"The governor of Maine's been excellent," said Irving.
"We're coming together as a region. That's what this is all about today is the region. Governors and premiers and industry trying to fix a problem."
Lepage said eastern Canadian softwood lumber is needed now more than ever in the U.S. in the wake of Hurricane Harvey and rebuilding that will be required in Texas.
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With files from Kerry Campbell