President Donald Trump announced that he wanted a 20 percent tax on softwood lumber coming from Canada, telling conservative media he thought the country was treating Canada “very unfairly.”
“We’re going to be putting a 20% tax on softwood lumber coming in — tariff on softwood coming into the United States from Canada,” Trump announced during a meeting with conservative journalists. He also signaled he wanted action on Canadian dairy products as well.
“We’re going to start doing lumber in our country, it’s going to mean that farmers are going to start selling milk in our country,” Trump said.
The president’s decision is the latest sign that he will keep his promises on trade deal negotiations.
A senior administration trade official said that the issue was a “long simmering problem” with Canada, pointing out that they get cheap lumber from federally-owned timber and sell it at subsidized rates.
“We love Canada, wonderful people, wonderful country, but they have been very good about taking advantage of us through NAFTA,” Trump said.
Trump said that he would explore allowing more logging on federal lands with the Department of Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency.
“We’re actually having some of those horrific fires because this stuff is sitting there, virgin stuff for so long, and it’s in very bad shape,” he said.