VANCOUVER (CP) - Federal efforts to wrap up a softwood lumber deal with the United States by Sunday apparently hit a snag, sources told The Canadian Press.
Government negotiators talking to their U.S. counterparts in Washington twice postponed conference calls with officials from lumber-producing provinces and forest industry executives.
Those calls were now expected to happen on Monday, sources said.
It was not clear what difficulties forced Ottawa to miss its self-imposed deadline of Sunday evening to arrive at a draft text that was mutually agreeable with U.S. negotiators.
Not freaking clear?
Well, how about, this?
"I can confirm there are two drafts [from the two governments], and that they are radically different," (John Allan, president of the B.C. Lumber Trade Council) said in an interview Wednesday (June 7th) after addressing a House of Commons all-party committee on softwood lumber.....
The Canadian draft states that the tax would be applied to the value of timber produced by the first mill to saw the logs. The U.S. draft contains the first mill principle, but then defines an independent producer in language that would exclude virtually every independent B.C. remanufacturer from the clause.
"The U.S. is imposing conditions on us so that almost nobody would qualify [for the reduced tax]."
Is that clear enough for you?
And where, pray tell, is the 'Lumberman of the Year' on this one?