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White House: Trump's Trade Call With Trudeau 'Amicable.' Canada: Not So Much

28 April 2017

That's how Stephen Colbert began a monologue about Canada's brewing trade conflict with the United States, which escalated with the announcement of a 20 per cent tariff on imports of Canadian softwood lumber.

Ross has said that lumber and dairy have erupted as irritants because they are not properly addressed in the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump had threatened to scrap if it can't be renegotiated.

The U.S. softwood lumber industry has long complained that competing imports from Canada are subsidized by provincial governments, giving Canadian lumber firms an unfair pricing advantage.

President Donald Trump accused Ottawa of being "very rough" on the USA and slapped tariffs on imported Canadian lumber on Tuesday.

The prime minister telephoned Trump late Tuesday to underscore that the USA take on softwood lumber was "baseless".

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It's not a long-term solution, state officials say, but it provides another resource for Wisconsin's dairy farms affected by Grassland Dairy Products Inc., of Greenwood, which informed 67 dairy farms earlier this month, most from Wisconsin and some from Minnesota, it no longer would accept their milk after May 1.

While there may seem to be no end in sight to this trade disagreement, it is worth noting that the president has focused on how US producers and consumers are losing from the trade agreement with Canada-not simply through lumber trade.

"Canada", it said, "would continue to defend its interests". President George W. Bush and President Obama both put temporary tariffs on Canadian lumber.

The National Association of Home Builders estimated that while the new tariffs would increase output for USA producers, they would add $1,236 to the price of an average single-family home and lead to a loss of almost $500 million in wages for American workers.

That's the reason why despite the repeated cycles of disputes over the past four decades the two sides have always come to a deal, she said. "I love Canada. But they've outsmarted our politicians for many years, and you people understand that", Trump said.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with United States President Donald J. Trump.

U.S. tariffs on Canadian lumber aren't new.

Terming Canada as a close and important ally, he said it is generally a good neighbour but that does not mean they (Canada) don't have to play by the rules. They also baked in a five per cent anti-dumping duty starting in the third quarter, which Canfor and other Canadian producers are expected to be hit with in June.

"These are recurring challenges in what is a very big and complex Canada-US relationship, " he said.

Trudeau told Trump - whose country is favored in bilateral dairy trade - "that Canada upholds its global trade obligations, including the North American Free Trade Agreement, under which the USA continues to have duty-free and quota-free access for milk protein substances, including diafiltered milk, and that Canada would continue to defend its interests". US lumber companies have long accused Canadian firms of receiving unfair subsidies from the Canadian government.

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White House: Trump's Trade Call With Trudeau 'Amicable.' Canada: Not So Much