Between June 6th and 8th, Washington was visited by Canadian premiers who were on a mission to discuss important issues surrounding trade, security, and agriculture. Yukon Premier Sandy Silver, who is Chair of the Council of the Federation, was supported by Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister, Newfoundland & Labrador Premier Dwight Ball, Northwest Territories Premier Bob McLeod, New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant, and Prince Edward Island Premier Wade MacLauchlan.

The premiers held meetings with American senior ranking officials, including Stephen Schwarzman, Chair of President Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Senator Lisa Murkowski, Chair, U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and members of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The main topics of discussion were:

  • Softwood lumber
  • Negotiating tariffs and illustrating the negative impact of high tariffs on both countries, including a higher cost of housing for American home buyers
  • Trade
  • NAFTA and the importance of a friendly trade relationship amongst Mexico, Canada, and the US
  • Energy
  • Natural resources, energy security
  • Agriculture
  • Bilateral trade agreements
  • Borders
  • Security

As the meetings wrapped up last week, the consensus held by the premiers was that their mission was a successful one and that they achieved their goal at illustrating the need for a strong bond between the two nations:

“I’m very pleased with the success of this visit, especially ahead of efforts to improve the North American Free Trade Agreement,” said Premier Silver. “In each of our meetings, Premiers highlighted the mutual benefits of the Canada-U.S. trade relationship, including Canada’s contribution to American economic security and prosperity.” (Source)

In light of President Donald Trump’s increased softwood lumber tariffs—up to 24% for some companies—employment in the forestry industry on both sides of the border are at risk, demonstrating the two nations’ interdependent relationship. Canada is directly responsible for nine million jobs in the United States, which brings to light just how important a strong trading relationship really is.

Do you have questions about forestry or timber marketing? Contact H.C. Haynes today.