“We’re really now in the hands of the U.S. government”: B.C. Special Envoy on Softwood Lumber

WASHINGTON, D.C. – David Emerson, B.C.’s Special Envoy to the U.S provided updates on how his meetings went in Washington D.C. last week on Wednesday.

Emerson said he primarily was meeting with Government of Canada officials as the Embassy including the Ambassador regarding Softwood Lumber and the ongoing negotiations.

He said they also followed up on meetings that they had during their last trip to Washington regarding consumer support for the Canadian/B.C. position on Softwood Lumber.

“To be really honest, there is still a tremendous amount of turbulence in Washington right now. The signals we’re seeing from some of the more hawkish Senators have continued to be quite aggressively negative. The grilling of the nominee for U.S. Trade Representative, Mr. Lighthizer, was a fairly stern grilling.”

Emerson said it isn’t clear right now is Softwood Lumber is going to be dealt with early and as a ‘one off’ or if it could get wrapped into a ‘larger NAFTA negotiation’.

“We’re really now in the hands of the U.S. government to see this actually gets started and discussions get underway.”

Emerson also said the recent loss the Trump Administration suffered when their health care bill wasn’t passed could create a different dynamic when it comes to the Softwood Lumber situation.

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