Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Quebec Hires Ex-Ambassador to United States to Help in Softwood Lumber Dispute

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Quebec Hires Ex-Ambassador to United States to Help in Softwood Lumber Dispute

Article excerpt

Quebec hires ex-ambassador for lumber talks

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QUEBEC - Quebec has hired a former Canadian ambassador to the United States to represent its interests in the difficult softwood lumber negotiations between Canada and its southern neighbour.

Raymond Chretien was named Tuesday as Quebec's representative in the ongoing talks, which could affect thousands of lumber jobs in the province.

The Americans could start imposing duties on Quebec softwood by March 2017 if a deal can't be reached.

Chretien, ambassador to Washington between 1994 and 2000, told reporters time is a factor in the negotiations because the United States will elect either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton as president Nov. 8.

Both have been critical of free trade in recent months.

"It is a difficulty that is real," said Chretien, who is pulling for Clinton because of Trump's "totally protectionist" position. …

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