B.C. Liberal leader says all Canadians involved in U.S. softwood offer balked

By The Canadian Press
April 27, 2017 - 1:18pm

VANCOUVER — British Columbia’s Liberal leader says everyone involved in a potential softwood lumber agreement said No when the United States offered a “lousy” deal that would have cost her province 20,000 forestry jobs.

Christy Clark said talks with former president Barack Obama ended because of opposition by the prime minister, the international trade minister and lumber employers in B.C.

She has said Obama wasn’t interested in getting an agreement and that Canada opted to negotiate when President Donald Trump took office.

Clark says she would have balked had she been the only person involved in negotiations on softwood lumber, an issue that has heated up during the May 9 provincial election campaign.

She has called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to ban shipments of thermal coal through the province’s ports after the U.S. imposed tariffs of up to 24 per cent on softwood lumber from Canada.

The NDP issued a statement on the scuttled offer, asking whether Clark took a gamble by placing her faith in Trump.

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