03/10/2016 14:42 EST | Updated 03/11/2017 00:12 EST

B.C. premier cheers Canada-U.S.. moves to negotiate softwood lumber pact

VICTORIA — British Columbia Premier Christy Clark says she's pleased that Canada and the United States are working to resolve a long-standing trade issue over softwood lumber exports.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Barack Obama say they expect to resolve the issue.

The trade pact expired last year and both countries have accused each other of not being willing to start new negotiations.

Clark says a renegotiated softwood trade agreement has been one of B.C.'s top priorities with the federal Liberals, who were elected last fall.

The 2006 agreement that regulated Canadian softwood exports to the U.S. ended five years of court battles and returned $4 billion in duties collected by the U.S. on Canadian producers.

B.C. is Canada's largest producer of softwood lumber, with annual lumber exports to the U.S. at about $3 billion.




The Canadian Press