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Canada optimistic it can reach a deal with the US on softwood lumber

(iStock Photo)

Foreign affairs minister says some progress has been made to reach a new deal, but not much

US imposes heavy tariffs on Canadian wood, concerns grow of possible job losses

OTTAWA, ON. (NEWS 1130) – Canada’s foreign affairs minister is confident Canada and the US can land a settlement on the softwood lumber trade war, after the Trump administration placed big, new tariffs on our lumber exports.

As tensions grow in this trade dispute Chrystia Freeland, speaking via teleconference from Germany, is staying optimistic. “We do believe that a negotiated deal is achievable. I think there is a deal to be had which is good for Canada, good for US consumers.

She adds progress has been made in talks with the US commerce secretary, but when it comes to a deal, they’re not there yet.

Freeland stresses the tariffs are both unfair and wrong, and the government will vigorously oppose them and is prepared to fight this out in court. Her comments come in the wake of a phone call between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Donald Trump in which Trudeau told Trump he would defend Canada’s interests.

Yesterday, the Canadian dollar took a bit of hit in the morning after it was revealed the US was imposing tariffs of between three and 24 per cent on Canadian softwood lumber exporters.

Some unions warn as many as 25,000 people could lose their jobs in Canada if the duties stay in place. Unifor is not only worried people will be out of work but that the tariffs will stay in place which could potentially chop softwood exports to the US in half.