The U.S. has alleged that Canadian timber is procured from government land while back home in the U.S. they had to cut timber from private lands. It would be interesting to see who own these vast tracts of land and who ultimately benefits from this timber trade at the cost of ordinary U.S. citizens.
In what is being seen as an aggressive posturing by Canada, the United State’s Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, has stated that the U.S. will impose a preliminary anti-subsidy duties averaging at 20%, on imports of Canadian softwood lumber.
This strategically aggressive move has set a tense tone for the upcoming meeting of Canadian and U.S officials, as the Trump administration aims to renegotiate the 23 year old North American Free Trade Agreement which will negatively impact the import of construction material worth $5.66 billion.
Canada has fired back saying it would protect its lumber interest and is willing to go to court on this issue.
In a telephonic interview with Reuters, Ross stated that Canada was “already retaliating” against the U.S. by restricting the import of highly filtered milk protein products made by the U.S. and used by Canadian cheesemakers.
The Canadian retort appears to have hit American interests with President Donald Trump portraying Canada’s dairy protection measure as “unfair.”
“Apparently Canadians now are coming down and saying: ‘Since you can’t do it anymore, I’ll buy your equipment for 5 cents on the dollar,'” said Ross.
U.S. lumber producers had asked the then U.S. President Barack Obama to investigate what they termed as unfair subsidies given by the Canadian government to their competitors.
They had alleged that Canadian lumber producers procure their timber from government lands at cheaper rates whereas they had to cut timber on privately owned land.
In a joint statement, Canadian Natural Resources Minister, Jim Carr, and its Foreign Minister, Chrystia Freeland, trashed the U.S. charge as “baseless and unfounded”. They further stated that if the U.S. goes has its way, the cost of renovation and home construction will go up for U.S. citizens.