Storms add pressure for softwood deal: Carr

softwood lumber
Many American homes are built of Canadian softwood lumber.

OTTAWA – Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr says there is no question that demand for wood products to help rebuild after two devastating hurricanes in the United States will put pressure on the White House to sort out the latest softwood dispute with Canada.

Carr was commenting following a speech at a meeting of the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers.

He says it’s an economic reality that when demand goes up to rebuild after hurricanes Harvey in Texas and Irma in Florida, market forces will have an impact on the ongoing softwood battle.

It’s estimated Harvey caused nearly $170 billion in damage after it struck the Texas coast near Houston last month.

Hurricane Irma followed about two weeks later, affecting the entire state of Florida and hitting especially hard at parts of the Florida Keys, where U.S. officials say more than 90 per cent of buildings were damaged and a quarter of them were destroyed.

The U.S. Department of Commerce in April imposed tariffs on Canadian softwood imports after agreeing with the U.S. Lumber Coalition that Canada was unfairly subsidizing its lumber producers, an allegation Canada denies.