U.S. appoints softwood envoy

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Although the ongoing war in Afghanistan has shifted the softwood lumber dispute into the shadows, the U.S. has taken steps toward reaching a settlement.

Former Montana governor, Marc Racicot, was asked to be a special envoy to try to broker a deal with Canada to put an end to the softwood saga.

Commerce Secretary, Donald Evans, says that Racicot is an ideal candidate because he is familiar with the industry.

“This dispute has endured for decades and it’s our hope that, with the governor’s help, we can achieve a lasting market-based solution,” says Evans.

For his part, Racicot says he is “committed to identifying a fair and lasting solution.”

Rodney Moore, a spokesman for the Canadian Embassy in Washington, welcomed the move.

“It indicates to us the high level of importance that the Bush administration places on the softwood lumber trade,” says Moore.

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