U.S. and Canadian officials will be meeting in Ottawa, Canada, later this week to discuss the ever-looming softwood lumber debate between the two nations. The deadline imposed by President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on their officials to reach a new deal is less than a month away.

Canada's International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland will not be involved in this set of discussions. She is set to be traveling to Asia later this week. She did, however, announce to Canada's House of Commons that she met with British Columbia Premier Christy Clark and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman last week to discuss the softwood lumber trade.

The Canadian lumber industry remains divided on whether a new agreement is needed to manage bilateral softwood trade. Western Canadian producers strongly support the need for an agreement as providing a stable environment for softwood trade, while Eastern Canadian producers argue that the previous agreement harmed their industry and support a free trade environment.

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