Premier Christy Clark chairs cabinet meeting Thursday

Premier, US ambassador ‘optimistic’ about softwood talks with Trump team

Ambassador David MacNaughton and B.C. trade representative David Emerson await Donald Trump administration's lumber trade position

Canada’s ambassador to the U.S. says it’s too early to say how the Donald Trump administration will approach lumber trade, but he’s optimistic about the general approach to Canada so far.

U.S. Ambassador David MacNaughton visited the B.C. legislature Thursday to brief Premier Christy Clark and David Emerson, the former federal cabinet minister retained as B.C.’s new trade envoy in Washington D.C.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, MacNaughton said there won’t be clarity until a new commerce secretary is appointed to the Trump cabinet, but he has had good cooperation from U.S. officials including Trump’s chief of staff Reince Priebus, senior advisor Steve Bannon and others.

“They see it as being a small, regional issue, and I think the most important thing we did was to impress on them how important it is to Canada,” MacNaughton said. “It’s a national issue that affects hundreds of communities right across the country. I think they got the message.”

The U.S. International Trade Commission has made a preliminary finding of “injury’ due to alleged subsidies to Canadian wood products, and the U.S. Department of Commerce is continuing its investigation.

Clark said the previous Barack Obama administration was preoccupied with the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal, which Trump has since rejected. Repeated offers from Canadian lumber negotiators were ignored by the previous government.

“The change in the United States could signal we have an opportunity for a change in attitude about how important getting a softwood lumber agreement,” Clark said.

Emerson, whose experience with lumber trade goes back to his time as B.C. deputy finance minister in the 1980s and later CEO of Canfor Corp., said the U.S. industry has changed since he was last involved in negotiations 10 years ago, and a “whole new assessment” of the political scene is needed.

 

Just Posted

The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read