Trump Takes Aim at Canada's Dairy Industry

27 April, 2017, 05:46 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • Breaking: Trump to impose tariff on Canadian soft lumber

As US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement: "It has been a bad week for US-Canada trade relations". US egg exports to Canada fell to about 7,900 dozen in 1932 from 919,000 dozen in 1929.

He vowed to defend USA dairy farmers affected by it during a visit to Wisconsin earlier this month. Trump has directed nearly all of his NAFTA criticism at Mexico, which makes this decision even more surprising.

The tariffs, which the department said would be as high as 24 percent, could boost prices for American lumber companies, while also raising the overall cost of home building and construction projects.

But his tune changed Tuesday morning.

President Donald Trump's heightened rhetoric over Canada's treatment of US lumber and dairy producers in recent days marked a sharp pivot on America's northern neighbor and its second-largest two-way trading partner, after China, with almost $545 billion in goods and services crossing the border in 2016.

"We will stand up for our industry's workers and impacted mill communities in Canada and call on federal and provincial governments to work with us to ensure they can maintain their livelihoods during this hard period." says Nighbor.

On Monday, the U.S. imposed an overall 20% tariff on Canadian softwood lumber. West Fraser Mills will pay the highest duty of 24%.

While the currency fell, shares in Canadian lumber companies rose as the level of the new tariffs came in at the low end of what investors were expecting.

"The government of Canada will vigorously defend the interests of the Canadian softwood lumber industry, including through litigation", they said.

The US Commerce Department said that in 2016 softwood lumber imports from Canada were valued at $5.66 billion.

Though the negotiations are happening federally, Clark herself said B.C. Ross said during a press conference Tuesday that the tariffs are effective immediately. "Tariffs on our lumber have already been squashed".

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Officials in Canada rejected the claims and called the duties "unfair and punitive".

Canadian firms immediately denounced the decision. At 9:22 a.m. ET (1322 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading at C$1.3594 to the greenback, or 73.56 USA cents, weaker than Monday's close of C$1.3516, or 73.99 US cents. However, different actors would be pleased to add provisions on one or the other.

The preliminary determination directs U.S. Customs and Border Protection to require cash deposits on all softwood products imports starting 90 days ago. "That set of facts is not going to be permitted to continue".

The softwood lumber dispute between Washington and Ottawa has seen many twists and turns for almost 35 years, with USA producers accusing their Canadian counterparts of exporting lumber at subsidized prices. Until then, forestry companies in Canada will have to start paying the duties.

"The allegations made by the USA lumber lobby are the same arguments they made in prior rounds of litigation, all of which were rejected and overturned by independent NAFTA panels", she said, denouncing a "protectionist" attempt to "create artificial supply constraints on lumber and drive prices up".

In an April 24 release, the province repeated its call for federal action to protect people and communities that would be negatively impacted by US trade actions through a loan guarantee program for Canadian companies. "They did not own 39 sawmills in the US southeast the last time around".

Ross justified the duties by saying Canadian firms "charge a subsidized low price when the products hit the USA border". In ruling after ruling since 1983, worldwide tribunals have disproved the unfounded subsidy and injury allegations from the USA industry.

The tariffs of as much as 24 percent announced by the US late Monday are "inappropriate", said Seth Kursman, a spokesman for Resolute Forest Products Inc.

Ontario and Quebec producers should have free unencumbered access to the USA market, Kursman said.

In a White House meeting with farmers, Trump pledged to open foreign markets to their products and used the session to highlight his complaints with Canada over border trade in dairy and lumber.

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