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The Office of the United States Trade Representative

USTR Portman and Canadian Trade Minister Peterson Statements on Current Lumber Talks

WASHINGTON - Canadian and U.S. officials met in Washington July 18-20 for discussions on the potential for resolution of the softwood lumber dispute. The discussions allowed for a better understanding of each other’s respective positions. Both sides will need time to reflect on the discussions.

"This week’s talks were a constructive start, and gave us a better understanding of each other’s positions. Minister Peterson and I have spoken and I am convinced that both sides are serious about seeking to resolve this dispute. We look forward to continuing the talks," said U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman.

"I have asked Canada's negotiating team to continue to seek input from Canadian industry and provinces as we take the necessary time to evaluate the options that have been presented," said Canadian Trade Minister Jim Peterson. "Ambassador Portman and I will be following the issue closely and will continue to remain in close contact."

The negotiators intend to use the coming weeks for further consultations with stakeholders and will seek to meet again to discuss the softwood lumber dispute in Ottawa by late August.