Betty Hinton, MP Masthead
Member of Parliament for Kamloops Thompson Cariboo
[press releases]
Canada Coat of Arms

Liberals Soft on Lumber Tariff

OTTAWA: While 50,000 people watch their jobs disappear, government negotiators have failed to resolve the softwood lumber issue, says Kamloops Thompson Highland Valleys MP Betty Hinton.

Hinton, speaking in the House of Commons Friday about the fact the U.S. today removed tariffs on Indonesian lumber asked, "Why hasn't the [Canadian] government asked the U.S. to remove the 19.3 per cent tariff against our softwood lumber products?"

International Trade Minister Pierre Pettigrew said he refuses to "negotiate our [Canada's] friendship with the U.S. to achieve victory (over the tariff)." He indicated his department was doing a "lot of serious work" on the issue.

While Pettigrew assured the House his department was doing a lot of work in the last few days, Hinton replied, "Perhaps the Honourable Minister should find a better way."

Hinton said the Liberals have had months to negotiate a better deal for struggling Canadian lumber companies while our recent support for the U.S. in fighting terrorism was made unconditionally.

"Soft lumber has nothing to do with the recent world coalition but you use what you can in negotiations," said Hinton following the session in the House.

"Canadians want action from this government. While every sector of our economy reels from the events of the past month, here is one thing the government could do to show they care about Canadian business."

Contact person:
Sandy Wiseman 250-851-4991/250-572-3747


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