Trump Phone Call With Trudeau on Dairy, Lumber Trade 'Amicable' - White House

He further reiterated that the lumber dispute with Canada highlights the necessity of renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

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.

Trump's aggressive comments echoed a tweet he sent earlier in the day, just hours after the Commerce Department announced it was imposing tariffs of up to 24 percent on Canadian softwood lumber, which it says is improperly subsidized. "We work hard at our relationship with you guys, and I think it's in the interest of the United States to keep the relationship strong as well".

The U.S. Department of Commerce says the duty is needed to offset what it considers are unfair subsidies provincial governments allegedly provide to lumber companies.

In a tweet Tuesday morning, the President said Canada is making business for dairy farmers in Wisconsin and border states "very hard".

Trump called that decision a disgrace that is hurting producers in the states such as Wisconsin.

Trudeau, speaking in Kitchener, Ont., says it's true Canada has a deeply interconnected economic relationship with the US, but that the opposite is also true. At a meeting with United States' farmer and agricultural leaders, President Trump said that people do not realize that Canada has been very rough on the United States.

The US President had taken to Twitter early Monday morning to criticise Canada for making "business for our dairy farmers in Wisconsin and other border states very hard".

Trudeau spoke directly with Trump later Tuesday. The former ambassadors, the Canada-U.S. Business Council lobby group and Brett Bruen, Obama's former White House public-diplomacy director, all said the Canadian government should meet the complaints with calm.

Groups supporting the policy say the price increase wouldn't be as much as home builders are claiming it would be, and say the interest in US lumber would mean more Americans working those jobs. "But they have outsmarted our politicians for many years", Trump had alleged on Tuesday.

However, it's important to bear in mind that NAFTA negotiations have not started yet, she said.

Yurkovich says they are confident that Canadian lumber producers have done nothing wrong and if need be they are willing to go to the world trade courts.

During a White House news conference, Ross alleged that Canadian provinces subsidise lumber, which is used in housing construction in America.

  • Eleanor Harrison