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Trump Slaps Tariff on Canadian Lumber in Response to Dairy Battle
USAgNet - 04/26/2017

President Donald Trump intensified a trade dispute with Canada, slapping tariffs of up to 24 percent on imported softwood lumber in a move that drew swift criticism from the Canadian government, which vowed to sue if needed. Trump announced the new tariff at a White House gathering of conservative journalists, shortly before the Commerce Department said it would impose countervailing duties ranging from 3 percent to 24.1 percent on Canadian lumber producers including West Fraser Timber.

"We're going to be putting a 20 percent tax on softwood lumber coming in -- tariff on softwood coming into the United States from Canada," Trump said Monday, according to a tweet by Charlie Spiering, a White House correspondent for Breitbart News. A White House official confirmed the comment.

The step escalates an economic battle among neighboring countries that normally have one of the friendliest international relationships in the world. U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross amplified Trump's remarks in a statement afterward that also referenced a fight over a new Canadian milk policy that U.S. producers say violates NAFTA.

In a dig at the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump has said he wants to renegotiate, Ross added, "This is not our idea of a properly functioning Free Trade Agreement."

Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar dropped to a 4-month low against the U.S. dollar after Trump announced the tariff, trading down 0.40 percent to C$1.356. The loonie traded at 73.8 U.S. cents.

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