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Ottawa considers trade actions against US over softwood lumber tariffs

Last Updated May 5, 2017 at 7:44 pm PDT

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Justin Trudeau to accept Christy Clark's proposed changes to tax thermal coal: reports

Other potential action will be taken against the state of Oregon

WASHINGTON, DC. (NEWS 1130) – The Canadian government is threatening multiple trade actions against the United States in retaliation for duties on softwood lumber.

One will be announced publicly in a letter today while another batch of penalties is apparently being studied.

The Canadian Press has learned Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has notified Premier Christy Clark that he is seriously considering her request for a ban or a tax on thermal coal exports, and that it’s being explored by federal trade officials.

The second threat include possible duties against Oregon industries. That’s the home state of a Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, who has been a hardliner on the lumber dispute.

The Canadian government has found several Oregon business-assistance programs it says may constitute illegal subsidies. It’s considering a process that could lead to retaliatory duties on imports from that state’s products, such as plywood, flooring, wood chips, packaging material and wine.

Government sources insist the threat has nothing to do with US President Donald Trump; they say it’s a one-off, specific action related to one dispute, and one Democratic senator in one state.

They add a long-term deal on softwood lumber would be the best way to prevent the dispute from escalating.