BOZEMAN, Mont. — U.S. Senator Steve Daines released the following statement after the expiration of the Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA):
“Subsidized and unfairly traded lumber imports continue to severely harm Montana mills, workers and communities. President Obama needs to remain committed to reaching a new trade agreement that prioritizes the American worker and fights for good-paying jobs.”
The SLA expired on October 12, 2015 with a one-year moratorium on complaints or lawsuits ending on October 12, 2016.
A timeline of Daines’ efforts to renegotiate a new SLA for Montana’s sawmills is below:
April 27, 2006: SLA signed – seven year agreement that went into force on October 12, 2006
January 23, 2012: SLA extended until October 12, 2015.
September 17, 2015: Daines sent a letter to U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell urging him to provide much needed certainty for Montana sawmills facing the expiration of the SLA.
October 12, 2015: Expiration of the SLA.
October 21, 2015: Daines met with Canadian Ambassador Gary Doer to urge him to begin negotiating a new SLA.
December 3, 2015: Daines wrote newly elected Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to emphasize Montana priorities and ensure continued economic growth on both sides of the northern border.
February 22, 2016: In advance of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s first state visit to Washington, D.C., Daines urged the USTR to prioritize Montana issues in discussions with Canada.
June 23, 2016: Daines spoke to United States Trade Represetnative Ambassador Froman regarding SLA in advance of President Obama and PM Trudeau meeting in Ottawa.
July 19, 2016: In a letter to U.S. Trade Ambassador Michael Froman, Daines pushed for a new SLA with Canada.
Septmeber 13, 2016: Daines met with Gitane De Silva, Alberta’s new Senior Representative to the United States to discuss the expiring SLA.