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‘This is not new’: Natural Resources Minister assures lumber discussions ongoing with U.S.

WATCH ABOVE: Federal Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr and New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant say conversations with the U.S. Department of Commerce are continuing in softwood lumber dispute as governments work to reach a settlement.

Federal Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr assured that discussions remain ongoing over the United States’ Department of Commerce decision to end the exclusion on Canadian softwood lumber from countervailing duties.

READ MORE: New Brunswick will ‘fight back with facts’ against U.S. softwood lumber tariff: premier

“This is not new,” said Carr, while touring H. J. Crabbe & Sons Ltd. lumber mill in Florenceville-Bristol, NB. “To come to New Brunswick is to remember that the first lumber dispute was actually in 1829 between New Brunswick and Maine.”

“And we’ve been fighting with the Americans ever since,” he said jokingly.

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Premier Brian Gallant also toured the location which employs approximately 50 people.

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“Coming here to visit a place like Crabbe, to fully understand what this means to them, to fully understand what they’ve been doing for years to try to modernize so that they can compete on an international scale,” Gallant said. “[It] serves as a reminder of the importance to continue to work very hard with the federal government, very hard with counterparts and decision makers in the U.S. to ensure that we can resolve this matter once and for all.”

READ MORE: New Brunswick seeking continued exemption from duties on lumber exports to U.S.

With talks continuing, Gallant said he is optimistic a resolution which benefits Canadians will be reached as it would be one that would benefit the U.S. as well.

“It’s important not only here for jobs across the country,” Gallant said. “But it’s also important to keep costs low for families in the U.S.

“Robust trade between the U.S and Canada creates jobs on both sides of the border.”

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The countervaling decision is the first of two U.S. Department of Commerce decisions on lumber, an anti-dumping determination is expected sometime in June.

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