Washington, April 26, 2017: President Donald Trump accused Canada of hurting milk producers in Wisconsin and other US states, warning that he will not continue to put up with such behaviour.
On Monday, the administration announced its decision to impose a 20 per cent tariff on lumber imports from Canada after claiming that it was unable to come to an agreement on the matter with the US northern neighbour, Efe news reported.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said that Canada had been notified about Trump’s decision and that the tariff will be applied retroactively.
The US lumber industry has complained for decades that Canada subsidizes its producers to be able to sell wood products at reduced prices in the US market.
The President’s threat comes while the two nations are preparing to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement signed, along with Mexico, more than two decades ago.
NAFTA is a trade “disaster”, Trump reiterated last week, returning to a theme that he pounded non-stop during the election campaign, namely that he will renegotiate a better deal for the US.
Up to now, Trump’s harshest criticisms of NAFTA have focused on Mexico, but in the past few days the president has shifted his sights to accuse Canada of harming US farmers and milk producers.
Meanwhile, Trump is scheduled on Tuesday to sign an executive order instructing his team to review the policies and laws governing the agricultural sector with an eye toward doing away with rules that could “unnecessarily hinder economic growth in the agriculture sector”.