VICTORIA -- David Emerson's appointment as British Columbia's special envoy to the United States on softwood lumber is coming to an end.

Premier John Horgan says in a statement that Emerson's experience on softwood lumber trade issues between Canada and the United States have been invaluable, but the need for that expertise has been reduced as the trade issue appears headed for a court battle.

Last month, the U.S. International Trade Commission determined softwood lumber imported from Canada is subsidized and injures the U.S. industry.

The United States move came after Canada announced it was disputing U.S. countervailing and anti-dumping duties on Canadian softwood lumber imports at the World Trade Organization.

Emerson is a former federal cabinet minister and forest company executive who was appointed in February 2017 to represent B.C.'s softwood lumber trade interests in the dispute.

The Softwood Lumber Agreement between Canada and the United States expired on Oct. 12, 2015.