Softwood lumber was the topic of conversation in Quesnel on Thursday as the President of the Council of Forest Industries made an appearance.

Susan Yurkovich says the share of BC lumber exports to the U.S. went from 84 percent in 2006 down to 59 percent in 2015, the Americans are still the province’s best trade partner.

She says they will find out Monday, what the U.S. Department of Commerce determines will be the countervailing duty on Canadian lumber.

Yurkovich says the market is already starting to price in a significant duty.

“That’s not great if you are a US customer and that’s why you’re seeing articles from the National Homebuilders Association about how this is constraining the market and is pushing costs burdens on to the growing middle class that Donald Trump says he’s very interested in.”

Yurkovich says there will also be an anti-dumping preliminary duty at the end of June.

For perspective, the last duty averaged 10.4 percent over a nine year period, which she says is manageable.

Yurkovich says they are confident that they would win again if they were forced to go through litigation as she says they are not subsidized and companies are doing nothing wrong, but she says that is a very onerous process and they would prefer a long term deal.

(With files from George Henderson of MY CARIBOO NOW)