The Donald Trump administration intensified a decades-old trade dispute with Canada this week, announcing tariffs up to 24 percent on imported softwood lumber. Bloomberg News reports the step escalates an economic battle among neighboring countries that normally have one of the friendliest international relationships in the world. It follows a fight over a new Canadian milk policy that U.S. producers say violates the North American Free Trade Agreement. Trump said last week “we can’t let Canada or anybody else take advantage” of the nation’s dairy farmers, while also mentioning lumber, timber and energy. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says the tariffs came after the Commerce Department “determined a need” because of the “unfair Canadian subsidies” to the lumber industry. Canada fired back, saying the tariff is an “unfair and punitive duty” imposed on “baseless and unfounded” allegations. The U.S. and Canada have argued since the early 1980s over how much softwood lumber the country’s suppliers can sell in the U.S. and at what price. Canada has vowed to sue the U.S. over the tariffs, if needed.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.
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