Trump threatens Canada over dairy trade, slaps tariff on lumber

Posted April 28, 2017

As Colbert explained, the dispute is over cheap Canadian softwood, with which the US lumber industry claims "Cold Mexico" floods our markets.

"If NAFTA were functioning properly, you wouldn't be having these kinds of very prickly and unfortunate events back to back", Ross said.

He also noted Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr's response to the tariff: "The Government of Canada disagrees strongly with the U.S. Department of Commerce's decision to impose an unfair and punitive duty".

He said Canada is prepared to agree to an import quota, for example, in exchange for "stable and predictable" U.S. market access for its softwood.

Ross suggested that other industries may soon be put under the Trump administration's microscope as it moves closer to renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.

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Softwood lumber joins dairy as a key target for U.S. President Donald Trump, who tweeted a new attack on Canada's supply management system for dairy on Tuesday.

But while there's a new administration in the White House, this current situation is just a repeat of an ongoing dispute over the years. "The fact is, NAFTA has been a complete and total disaster for the United States - a complete and total disaster". In 2002, the USA imposed a 30% tariff on Canadian softwood lumber, which Canadian firms claimed cost 30,000 jobs at the time.

"The Association of Home Builders obviously promotes keeping government regulation and the tariffs and the trade deals to a minimum, so it doesn't effect the overall cost of the new homes and the remodeling projects", Sillars said.

Her comments come in the wake of a phone call between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Donald Trump in which Trudeau told Trump he would defend Canada's interests. The announcement Monday is likely to lead to lawsuits and a standoff between the United States and Canada, which could lead to a broader trade war, CNN reported Tuesday.

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross told reporters Canada wasn't being a "good neighbor", accusing the country of "dumping lumber" on the USA market.

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The US Commerce Department said it will conduct a thorough investigation and confirm its position on the lumber tariffs by September 27.

Ross alleged that Canada was subsidizing its lumber companies to allow them to sell the product into the U.S. market at low prices.

This is the first tariff on softwood that comes from north of the border in a decade.

Trade tensions spiked between Washington and Ottawa Tuesday as President Donald Trump accused Canada of being "very rough" on its southern neighbor and threatened to retaliate against new restrictions on USA dairy products.

USA lumber firms have made allegations that Canada subsidizes the industry for decades, leading to at 30 percent tariff in 2002 and that subsequent loss by the United States before the World Trade Organization in 2004. The Canadian officials called the subsidy allegations "baseless and unfounded".

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