Present Donald Trump said his new tariff on Canadian lumber is not the start of a trade war. However, he did tweet a warning regarding Canada’s dairy farming on Tuesday morning.
Canada’s dairy sector has placed high tariffs on imported products, in addition to controlling prices on domestic products that favor their farmers. Ultimately, these practices hurt American dairy farmers.
“Canada has made business for our dairy farmers in Wisconsin and other border states very difficult. We will not stand for this. Watch!” the president’s tweet read.
Canada has made business for our dairy farmers in Wisconsin and other border states very difficult. We will not stand for this. Watch!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 25, 2017
“The Trump administration has been much more focused on enforcement than had been true previously,” said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
The new tariff on timber averages 20%, according to CNBC, but Ross said it’s not the beginning of a trade war so much as it is following through with promises to hold Canada accountable for unequal trading practices.
In an interview, Ross told the Squawk Box that President Trump was disappointed in his visit to Wisconsin, which he said was an eye-opener when it came to the troubles of U.S. dairy farmers.
Ross added the current North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico is a “terrible arrangement,” which is why President Trump is taking action now with lumber tariffs.
“The reason we’re putting it in is that Canada’s forests are owned by the various provinces” that charge favorably low prices to the lumbermen there who, as a result, receive an upper hand when they export into the United States, Ross said.
“It seems simply unfair because, in the U.S., most of the forests are privately owned, and therefore they pay full-market rate for the stumpage,” the charges for logging on land, he added.
Ross said President Trump also has his eye on other countries who are not truly practicing free trade, including Europe, China, and Japan.
“Their rhetoric must match their behavior. If need be, we will do more to defend our borders,” he said.
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