Canada considers trade action over USA lumber dispute

Canada considers trade action over USA lumber dispute

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in response that "threats of retaliatory action are inappropriate" and won't influence the White House's decision on tariffs.

The course of action being reviewed by the Canadian government is similar to the process used in the US that slapped a 20-per-cent duty on northern lumber. The U.S. made import duty determinations on Canadian softwood lumber that have great ramifications on the Canadian economy.

Today the Liberals making public a letter from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the BC Liberal leader saying he'll "consider this request carefully and seriously", and has asked trade officials to examine the next steps.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is engaging in a bit of saber-rattling.

A first salvo came from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who in a letter Friday informed B.C. Premier Christy Clark that he's seriously considering her request for a ban on exports of US thermal coal and that federal trade officials are examining it. Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat, is one of the biggest critics of the Canadian lumber industry.

Instead, the government is considering levying duties on several OR industries, including wine, wood chips, plywood, flooring and packaging material, that receive state support which the Canadian government believes may constitute illegal subsidies.

"We share the commitment to fighting climate change and protecting the environment", Mr Trudeau wrote in his letter on Friday.

"We continue to believe that a negotiated settlement is in the best interests of all parties and we are prepared to work toward that end", Ross said in a statement obtained by Reuters.

The "recent preliminary decision to impose tariffs. was based on the facts presented, not on political considerations", he declared. After the U.S. International Trade Commission affirms the suggestions of the Commerce Department, however, the regulations will be in place for five years.

The administration's commerce secretary issued a statement calling the threats inappropriate, and insisting they would have no effect on the U.S.'s course of action in the lumber dispute.

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