Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Soft Wood Update

In the Vancouver Sun this morning is a story about some of the difficulties that still lie ahead for the Conservative government's creative sellout to the US.

Three Canadian firms have yet to drop their litigation in US courts, which according to the author of the supposedly "privileged and confidential" report referenced in the above news item, is considered to be a requirement in order for the deal to proceed.

Which the writer of the report, Elliot Feldman, himself considers to be a very bad deal indeed on many levels.

Interestingly, as well as typically for a CanWest journalist, in the article, the writer refers to him as a "trade lawyer". Which is only true as far as it goes.

Elliot Feldman is also a Director of the Canadian-American Business Council and a strong supporter of NAFTA. He works in Washington, DC for a prestigious law firm called Baker Hostetler which includes among it's clients Major League Baseball, General Electric and Ford Motor Company. In late March Feldman filed an Amicus Curiae Brief on Behalf of Canadian American Business Council in support of the NAFTA Dispute Resolution Process, which is what the US Lumber Industry is trying to attack as unconstitutional. (For the deeply obsessive that brief can be accessed at the bottom of the above link.)

Why would a high powered, US corporate lawyer who believes in the tenets of free trade as enshrined in NAFTA be opposed to the Conservatives much lauded "resolution" of the soft wood dispute?

He must hate Stephen Harper. There can be no other possible explanation.

Can there?

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