US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says Canadian threats after lumber tariff announcement 'are inappropriate'

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau said he was considering a tariff on US coal

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The Independent US

The United States Commerce secretary has said that Canadian threats of retaliatory trade actions against the US in response to tariffs on Canadian lumber announced last month “are inappropriate.”

The threats coming from Canadian officials,  Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said, would not deter America from imposing the tax on Canadian softwood lumbers.

“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,” Mr Ross said in a statement issued by his department, according to Reuters.

Canada threatened to increase taxes on thermal coal if they aren’t able to negotiate a long-term deal with the United States after Americans said that they were planning on increasing the softwood lumber tariffs last mont.h

“I would like to thank Prime Minister Trudeau for his quick action to look at banning thermal coal exports through British Columbia and his commitment to stand up for B.C. and Canadian forest workers,” Christy Clark, the premier of British Columbia, said this week after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent her a letter telling her he was considering tariffs.

The Canadian government has also said that it is considering levying tariffs on Oregon state lumber products after it said they found existing Oregon business assistance programs that may constitute an illegal subsidy.

The US’s trade tariff would impose a 20 percent tax on Canadian softwood lumber, affecting about $5 billion in lumber exports from the country. Mr Ross said last month that the tariff would affect 31.5 percent of the US lumber market so it’s “a pretty big deal in terms of the Canadian relationship,” he said.

US competitors to Canadian softwood providers favour the tariff because they say that the US government effectively offers a subsidy to Canadian firms that American companies are not able to access with existing deals.

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