FREDERICTON (GNB) – Premier Brian Gallant is travelling to Washington this week to attend a number of meetings concerning the economy, trade and other issues of importance to New Brunswick.

“The United States is New Brunswick’s biggest trading partner and, as the country’s most trade-driven economy, it is a relationship we value greatly,” said Gallant. “These meetings are an opportunity to discuss how we can work together to strengthen trade, spur economic growth and create jobs on both sides of the border.”

Gallant will meet with representatives from the federal Office of Management and Budget and from the states of South Carolina, Illinois, Massachusetts and Maine to discuss softwood lumber and the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Gallant will meet with the following members of the United States Congress: Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham; Rep. Richard Neal, senior Democrat on the house committee on ways and means; Rep. Peter Roskam, chairman of the house ways and means subcommittee on tax policy; and Rep. Jeff Duncan, member of the committee on energy and commerce, which has jurisdiction on international commerce. In addition, Gallant will meet with Sen. Susan Collins and Rep. Bruce Poliquin of Maine, Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, as well as David MacNaughton, Canada’s ambassador to the United States.

In February, Gallant, along with Maine Gov. Paul LePage, met with United States Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross Jr. to discuss softwood lumber, trade and the ongoing North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations.