I spent last week traveling around the Interior of the Province with my colleague, Ken Hori, meeting with BC manufacturers, discussing market opportunities in both the US and Latin America. As expected, the discussions tended to focus on the softwood lumber dispute with the US and how it was all going to play out. The opinions and ramifications of the dispute were varied but with a few certainties; BC Industry was expecting the duties and no one is sure how the conflict will play out.
I have been hearing from a number of residential builders across the US who are also concerned about the duties and how they will impact the cost of their construction projects. Of issue is builders who utilize specialty products in their builds, including heavy timber, western red and yellow cedar engineered timbers, and other specialty products made from BC softwoods. Most US construction firms are unaware that these products are subject to the duty as one builder commented, “I thought this was an issue on 2×4 and other dimension lumber”. The positive out of all this is that US builders seem more aware and engaged in this go around of the dispute and are pressing their associations to get more involved in helping to come to a solution to this ongoing issue.
Another great thing about getting out to see Industry is being exposed to high quality value added producers in BC . For example we had opportunity to visit with Sperlich Log Construction in Enderby and had lunch in Splatsin Quiliakwa Center. This fabulous building houses the offices of the Splatsin First Nations and features a gas station, Tim Hortons, and an art gallery (pictured above and below). Sperlich Log Construction did an amazing job with providing the timber structure of the building and is a testament to world class manufacturing we have in the Province. As always for more information on the US market, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org