Forests Minister Doug Donaldson is leading a trade mission to China and Japan with hopes of boosting exports of higher-value wood products to the Pacific Rim at a time B.C. will be challenged to maintain timber supplies at home. After building China into B.C.’s second biggest export market, replacing Japan, lumber producers have seen sales to both countries slide, which makes the mission all the more important considering Canada’s trade dispute with the U.S. over softwood lumber. “I’m not overly concerned,” Donaldson said of B.C.’s wavering trade numbers with China and Japan, “But I’m glad the focus is going to be on (selling) those higher-value products, including engineered wood products.” …One message, Donaldson said, is to convey that despite the devastating fire season this year, B.C. “has lots of forest resources,” that haven’t been damaged.
By Derrick Penner