Today, Premier Christy Clark has announced the appointment of former Canfor chief executive officer, federal cabinet minister and B.C. deputy minister David Emerson as the B.C. Trade Envoy to the United States to work with Canada and the new administration in the United States in securing a new Softwood Lumber Agreement.
“I am extremely pleased that David Emerson has accepted the role of B.C. Trade Envoy to the United States,” said Premier Christy Clark. “We are very fortunate to add his experience and expertise to our softwood lumber team as we stand up for B.C.’s forestry workers. This sends a strong signal that we are interested in finding a long-term solution to this wasteful dispute even as we remain determined and prepared to take on any softwood litigation and win.”
Emerson is a highly regarded and experienced British Columbian who has served both his province and country over a 40-year career as both an elected and non-elected government official. In addition, it was Emerson who, in his role as federal minister of international trade, signed the Softwood Lumber Agreement in 2006 that brought the fourth Canada-U.S.A. lumber dispute to an end. As a former minister of international trade, Emerson knows what it will take to secure a new trade agreement with the United States. And, as a former CEO of Canfor, one of British Columbia’s largest lumber producers, he has a broad base of knowledge to defend B.C.’s forest policies when dealing with American legislators and industry leaders.
“I am very excited to be able to help Premier Christy Clark and the Province secure a new Softwood Lumber agreement,” said Emerson. “I am looking forward to working collaboratively with the B.C. lumber industry and Canadian Ambassador to the U.S.A., David MacNaughton, as we defend B.C. companies, workers and communities against the false subsidy allegations made by the U.S. lumber industry.”
Emerson already has begun the briefing process in order to start dialogues with legislators and the U.S.A. administration as quickly as possible. It is anticipated that his first visit to Washington, D.C. will take place in March in advance of the imposition of expected countervailing duties being applied to B.C. lumber exports to the United States.
Information about softwood lumber trade with the United States: www.gov.bc.ca/for
Information about U.S.A./B.C. trade: www.britishcolumbia.ca