Former Federal Trade Minister to Lead Talks for Ontario
Ontario is continuing its support for the province’s forestry sector, naming Jim Peterson as its chief negotiator to represent Ontario’s interests in the ongoing softwood lumber dispute between Canada and the United States.
The forestry industry is an important part of the province’s economy, supporting approximately 172,000 jobs in communities across Ontario, and generating more than $15.5 billion in annual revenue. The appointment of a negotiator builds on the government’s efforts to protect lumber producers and workers in the sector.
As chief negotiator, Peterson will play a key role in the ongoing discussions with the U.S., federal and other provincial governments. His experience with the previous softwood negotiations will enable him to effectively represent the interests of the province and its forestry sector.
In addition, Ontario, along with Quebec, is calling on the federal government for support for individuals and communities that would be impacted by U.S. actions in the softwood lumber dispute, including a loan guarantee program for Canadian companies. This program would defend businesses in the forestry sector and good jobs for people across Ontario. The province is committed to continued collaboration with the federal government to support this vital industry.
Supporting Ontario’s forestry industry is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.
- Jim Peterson is a counsel at Fasken Martineau and former Federal Minister of International Trade from 2003 to 2006.
- Mr. Peterson was part of the negotiations on the previous Softwood IV lumber agreement.
- The Softwood IV agreement expired on October 12, 2015, and the U.S. Department of Commerce initiated a new trade investigation on December 15, 2016.
- Ontario is one of the U.S.’s top customers, with more than 40 per cent of all Canada-U.S. trade coming from Ontario.
- Twenty states call Ontario their number one customer, and eight more states call Ontario their second largest customer.
Photo from: www.canadianbusiness.com