Disagreements between US, Canada impact lumber industry

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Softwood lumber accounted for $5.6 billion of the imports.

The U.S. Commerce Department said it would impose countervailing duties on Canadian softwood lumber of between 3 per cent and 24 per cent. Logs are unloaded at Murray Brothers Lumber Company woodlot in Madawaska, Ontario on Tuesday, April 25, 2017.

Yesterday, the Canadian dollar took a bit of hit in the morning after it was revealed the USA was imposing tariffs of between three and 24 per cent on Canadian softwood lumber exporters. The problem is the reverse, they're prohibiting USA dairy producers from selling their products in Canada, as a practical matter, and we're looking into whether there are measures we can do to try to correct that, he said.

He cited free trade in the North American auto sector as an example of how a typical vehicle part can cross the border up to six times before it ends up in a finished automobile.

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"You can not thicken this border without hurting people on both sides of it", Trudeau said.

Colbert had an idea for how the two countries could ease tensions. "We will only accept an agreement with the United States that's good and that is fair for BC workers". "Because Canada is the largest US trading partner, it's natural that a Canadian trade issue would be top of mind".

US lumber officials praised Trump's move.

Trump said during a speech: "In Canada, some very unfair things have happened to our dairy farmers and others, and we're going to start working on that".

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This dispute is just one of the trade confrontations the Trump administration has already faced in its short term and could be a major indicator of how Trump and his team handle negotiations going forward. Canada's southern neighbor, which imported $5.7 billion worth of Canadian softwood lumber past year, is the main customer of the product. "Everyone thinks of Canada as being wonderful, and so do I. But they have outsmarted our politicians for many years", Trump had alleged on Tuesday.

According to a new report from Reuters, "Trudeau was due to call Trump later on Tuesday after he speaks to the premiers of Canada's 10 provinces". "There's a feeling in the dairy industry that Canadians are a little bit abrupt in the action that they took the week before", Ross said.

The US lumber industry has argued for decades that because most Canadian timber is harvested on Crown lands, and the way provincial governments manage and set prices results in cheaper lumber.

The Prime Minister also pointed out that "Canada would continue to defend its interests" despite pressure from its southern neighbour.

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