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

VIDEO: Burned Jeep matches suspect vehicle in two shooting incidents

Police discovered vehicle on fire overnight in Yorkson neighbourhood in Langley

VIDEO: One man suffers serious injuries in crash that closed Fraser Highway in Langley (updated)

One vehicle ends up in ditch after car and SUV collide, air ambulance called in

UPDATED: Gunfire erupts in quiet Langley neighbourhood early this morning

Police have 79A Avenue cordoned off after reports of shots just before 5 a.m.

Upgrades could be coming to popular Penzer Park in Langley City (with video)

Council considers a staff proposal that would move up construction of planned washroom, benches picnic tables and shelter

VIDEO: celebrating Diwali in Langley

Muriel Arnason library marks event for 14th time

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

WATCH: 10,000 signatures gained to stop ‘no pets’ rental policy

Pets OK BC said about 1,700 animals were surrendered to the BC SPCA last year due to housing issues

Silver Creek reacts after remains found, man arrested

Neighbours of property where remains were found say man arrested was sweet and polite

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Most Read