This article was originally published in Blakes Bulletin on International Trade, March 2006
Canada’s new Minister of International Trade, David Emerson, is no stranger to trade issues. Minister Emerson was the co-chair of the B.C. Lumber Trade Council in 2001 when the current softwood lumber dispute with the United States commenced. Between 1998 and 2004, he was President and CEO of Canfor Corporation, one of B.C.’s largest lumber companies. Since his investiture as Minister of International Trade, Minister Emerson has said that the resolution of the softwood lumber debate ‘is one of my top priorities’. Both in government and in the private sector, Emerson has been actively engaged in the softwood lumber row. Emerson’s appointment as Minister of International Trade gives him an opportunity to put his ideas on how to resolve one of Canada’s most important bilateral disputes with the United States into practice.
Minister Emerson has a broad business background. He has a Ph.D. in economics, at one time served as President and CEO of Western Pacific Bank of Canada, and was appointed to head up the Vancouver International Airport Authority upon its inception in 1992. At various times between 1975 and 1992, Mr. Emerson worked in a number of positions in the B.C. civil service, including as Deputy Minister of Finance and President of the B.C. Trade Development Corporation. Most recently, he served as federal Minister of Industry prior to the January 2006 election.
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While that agreement mandated export measures on Canadian softwood lumber exports destined for the United States, it also protected those lumber exports from the potential imposition of onerous import measures by the U.S.
On September 29, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada issued its first tariff classification decision since Canada signed the International Convention on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System in 1998.
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