Emerson’s BC softwood role ends as trade battle heading to court

Will continue to provide advice and counsel on critical trade matters.

January 16, 2018   by CP STAFF

VICTORIA — David Emerson’s appointment as British Columbia’s special envoy to the US on softwood lumber is coming to an end.

Premier John Horgan said Emerson’s experience has been invaluable but the need for his expertise has been reduced as the trade issue appears headed for a court battle.

Last month, the US International Trade Commission determined softwood lumber imported from Canada is subsidized and injures the US industry.

The US’s move came after Canada announced it was disputing countervailing and anti-dumping duties on Canadian softwood lumber imports at the World Trade Organization.

“While his role as special envoy is coming to an end, I am pleased Mr. Emerson will continue to provide advice and counsel on critical trade matters as needed,” Horgan said in a statement.

Emerson is a former federal cabinet minister and forest company executive who was appointed last February to represent BC’s trade interests in the dispute.

“I know from my own past experience that BC and Canada will prevail through litigation and remain confident that a deal can be reached when the time is right,” Emerson said in a statement. “I’m willing to continue to provide my services to support BC, as required.”

Last June, the federal government announced $867 million in financial supports to help employers and employees of Canada’s forestry sector weather the US tariffs.

The Softwood Lumber Agreement between Canada and the US expired on Oct. 12, 2015.

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