The province’s trade envoy to the U.S. and point person on softwood lumber negotiations is back from Washington calling the current situation “turbulent.”
David Emerson says there is still ‘fluidity’ in the Trump administration’s approach to renegotiating NAFTA.
Emerson: not necessarily more pessimistic but has turned over more rocks when it comes to softwood. Underscoring limbo we're in. #bcpoli
— LizaCKNW980 (@lizaCKNW980) March 29, 2017
And, it’s not clear if softwood will be dealt with early and separately from the rest of the trade deal, which he would prefer.
“The signals that we’re seeing from some of the more hawkish senators have continued to be quite aggressively negative.”
Emerson says he believes the U.S., like Canada, ultimately want the issue dealt with sooner rather than later.
If it is rolled into the greater NAFTA negotiations, he says it could drag on for years.
Both Emerson and BC’s Forests Minister, Steve Thomson, say it is very positive that Ottawa clearly understands how important and it is to get a deal on softwood.