West Hill Collegiate Institute - International Business

Established in 2012, by Daniel Shafransky and Raymond Ahmad

Litigation of the Softwood Trade Dispute 1996

Source: Softwood Dispute: Province against province, mill against mill

Image result for canada us softwood lumber dispute

  • Jacob Alipio
  • Shiyan Hassan
  • Kosiha Dhanabalan


  1. Part 1
    The litigation of the softwood lumber trade dispute 1996 is about how on May 29, 1996 the United States and Canada finalized an agreement in softwood lumber (SLA) that lasted until March 31, 2001. This agreement has bought Canada five years of peace in the 15 year old war by agreeing to national limits to softwood exports. The softwood lumber agreement has allowed a certain amount of softwood to enter the United States with no tax or duty. It also allowed tax-free exports of 14.7 billion board feet per year from British Colombia Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. Meaning if these exports exceeded that level the government was able to collect fees like, $68 per thousand board feet for the first 650 million board feet and $136 per thousand board feet to greater quantities.


  2. Part 2
    In the Province against Province, mill against mill audio clip it talks about how Canadian softwood lumber provinces are competing and wrestling each other over softwood lumber exports to the United States. It talks about how Canada agreed with the United States on how much softwood Canadian companies can export duty free. The conflict here is that they don’t know which suppliers and provinces will benefit from this agreement. British Colombia has been the United States biggest exporter, they believe a quota system should be put in place to protect British Colombia’s share of the market. On the other hand provinces like Ontario and Quebec believe that they should get a bigger share. Montreal believes that there shouldn’t be a quota system at all because they think it should be based on competition and performance.


  3. My reflection is based on 2006 softwood lumber agreement. In my opinion Canada is really unfair to all of the taxpayers in Canada. taxpayers should not be paying the industries for the money that the united states owes them. Canada should be forcing the united states government to give their $4 billion instead of having the taxpayers pay for the united states. Canada is not standing by their citizens but instead they are being lenient towards the united states government. The Canadian citizens are taking a risk because there have been cases where people have lost money and also went bankrupt. Even though both nations are benefiting from this deal the Canadian citizens are the ones being negatively effected from this deal.

  4. Part 1
    On May 29, 1996, Canada and the United States finalized an agreement in softwood lumber which lasted up to March 31,2001. Canada signed a second five-year MOU, the Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA), in 1996. The agreement put a pause to the 15 year war for five years. It allowed a certain amount of softwood to enter the States with no tax and allowed tax-free exports of 14.7 billion board feet per year from BC, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. If these exports went over the limit, the government would put fees on any exceeding export per board feet. Under the SLA, Canada imposed a fixed tax on softwood production above a specified volume. This agreement was particularly difficult for the B.C. coastal forest industry, resulting in layoffs and closures. The SLA expired in 2001.
    “Lumber I to IV: History of the Canada-U.S. Softwood Lumber Dispute.” Library of Parliament, lop.parl.ca/content/lop/ResearchPublications/tips/tip134-e.htm.
    Press, The Canadian. “Canada prepared for litigation in softwood dispute with U.S. – Article.” BNN, 24 Aug. 2017, http://www.bnn.ca/canada-readying-for-possible-litigation-in-softwood-dispute-with-u-s-1.838147.
    The Canada-US Softwood Lumber Dispute | Mapleleafweb.Com, http://www.mapleleafweb.com/features/canada-us-softwood-lumber-dispute.html.

  5. Part 2
    This audio clip describes the conflict between the Canadian provinces abo0ut softwood lumber. The provinces are competing with each other over the exports of lumber to the United States. The main issue was not knowing which provinces will benefit most from the exports following the agreement to the limited amount of lumber to be exported. British Columbia believed that the a quota system should be put in place to protect them as they were the biggest exporter. Although, other provinces thought otherwise. For instance, Quebec did not want a quota because they believed it would be fair and wanted to compete for the exports.


  6. Part 3- Reflection
    Based on Present Day
    The softwood lumber dispute has had a huge impact on Canada. In my opinion, this dispute will continue destroying the economy until the two countries come to an actual agreement to fix the feud. Many Canadians are suffering from this as they are laid off of their jobs due to the price increase of lumber. Today, the prices are higher than they were in the past. In British Columbia, they raised the prices for their buyers which is leading to many Canadians losing their jobs in the lumber industry. Because many of these towns rely on the lumber for jobs, their economies are suffering due to the lack of employment. In my opinion, the sooner Canada and the United States come to an agreement, the sooner the economies will recover and regain their power.

  7. Part 1) Litigation of the softwood trade dispute 1996 is about the official agreement between Canada and The united states talking about the softwood lumber. This agreement took place from May 29, 1996 to March 31 2001. This understanding allowed Canada and the united states to have unity for 5 years because for 15 years Canada did not have national limits to softwood exports. This agreement was very beneficial to Canada because it allowed an amount of softwood to enter The united states without high taxes or tariffs. Quebec, Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia was allowed tax-free exports 14.7 billion in total per year. The government would have been collecting greater fees.

  8. Part 2) Softwood Dispute: A controversial agreement (Video)
    This audio clip talks about how we are getting some of our money back from the Americans but we’re not getting it back right away. There is 4-5 billion dollars that is supposed to be returned to Canada. Canada can either wait 2-3 years to get back the money. The Canadian tax payers are having to pay off everything. On a point of view it states that Canada is giving up a billion dollars so that the settlement can go through. It is taking too long to write each individual check
    Source: http://www.cbc.ca/archives/entry/a-controversial-agreement

  9. Part 3) Reflection
    The softwood war begins
    Lumber 1 1982-1983
    I feel that softwood lumber is very important to our economy. It has been very interesting to learn about this topic. The lumber provides us with structural building components, furniture and paper production. The need demand for lumber is very high. The USA collects a lot of exports from Canada. Thus, leading to the Softwood lumber dispute. It all began in 1982. In my opinion i think that this is a problem because it causing companies to lose money and a lot of people are losing jobs. Also tax payers are being treated very unfair. It is causing a lot of problems in our economy.

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