The softwood lumber industry is an important sector in the Canadian economy, supporting thousands of jobs in communities across Canada and creating many positive spin-off effects in related industries and services. Natural Resources Canada's Canadian Forest Service provides detailed information on the industry's role in our economy.
Canada's modern, efficient, environmentally sustainable lumber companies have the potential to serve markets at home and around the world. In the United States, where demand for lumber exceeds what domestic mills can supply, housing and other industries have come to rely on Canada for stable, predictable access to quality products. Despite the U.S. market's dependence on imported lumber, Canada-U.S. trade in this product has been the subject of disputes for many years.
To move beyond these disputes, Canada and the United States signed the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA) on September 12, 2006. The SLA, which came into force on October 12, 2006 for an initial seven-year term, saw the return of more than $5 billion in duty deposits by U.S. authorities to Canadian companies. The Agreement has promoted a stable trade environment for the softwood lumber industry and has maximized benefits to Canadian industry, its workers and their communities. For more information on the SLA please see the Backgrounder. With the strong support of industry and provinces, Canada and the United States agreed to extend the Softwood Lumber Agreement for an additional two years, to October, 2015. This agreement was signed by Minister Ed Fast and United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk on January 23, 2012, and was ratified by both countries on April 20, 2012.
In addition to providing stable access to the U.S. market, the Government of Canada has actively expanded other market opportunities for Canadian wood products. Funding has been provided to open new market opportunities in Europe, Japan, South Korea, China, India and the Middle East and to increase the use of wood products in non-residential construction in Canada and the United States.
Canada's softwood lumber industry is a world leader in sustainable forest management – an approach that promotes the long-term health of forest ecosystems while providing social and economic benefits for current and future generations. Canada has the world's largest area of forest certified to internationally-recognized standards of environmental sustainability (as of December 2011).
25-2-2013- The prevailing monthly price for March 2013 exceeds US$ 355. In accordance with the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement most export measures will not be applicable from March 1st to 31st. For further information regarding exports of softwood lumber during this period, please refer to Notice to Exporters Serial #187.
18-1-2013- The prevailing monthly price for February 2013 exceeds US$ 355. In accordance with the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement most export measures will not be applicable from February 1st to 28th. For further information regarding exports of softwood lumber during this period, please refer to Notice to Exporters Serial #187.
21-12-2012- The prevailing monthly price for January 2013 exceeds US$ 355. In accordance with the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement most export measures will not be applicable from January 1st to 31st. For further information regarding exports of softwood lumber during this period, please refer to Notice to Exporters Serial #187.
20-04-2012- The Agreement to Extend the Softwood Lumber Agreement to October, 2015 has been ratified by Canada and the United States and is now in force.
18-07-2012- A Tribunal of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), convened under the Softwood Lumber Agreement with respect to the British Columbia Interior timber pricing arbitration, has ruled that Canada did not circumvent its obligations under the Agreement as alleged by the United States. (See the award: ARCHIVED - London Court of International Arbitration ruling on softwood lumber - public version (PDF*, 2.75 MB) - July 26, 2012 and the news release: Canada Applauds Softwood Lumber Ruling on British Columbia's Timber-pricing System)