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Emerson's role as BC softwood envoy ends, with no lumber trade deal in sight

Last Updated Jan 15, 2018 at 3:33 pm PDT

Workers sort and move lumber at the Delta Cedar Sawmill in Delta, B.C., on Friday January 6, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – David Emerson’s appointment as British Columbia’s special envoy to the United States on softwood lumber is coming to an end.

Premier John Horgan says in a statement that Emerson’s experience on softwood lumber trade issues between Canada and the United States have been invaluable, but the need for that expertise has been reduced as the trade issue appears headed for a court battle.

Last month, the US International Trade Commission determined softwood lumber imported from Canada is subsidized and injures the US industry.

The United States move came after Canada announced it was disputing US countervailing and anti-dumping duties on Canadian softwood lumber imports at the World Trade Organization.

Emerson is a former federal cabinet minister and forest company executive who was appointed in February 2017 to represent BC’s softwood lumber trade interests in the dispute.

The Softwood Lumber Agreement between Canada and the United States expired on Oct. 12, 2015.