Trade Wars Begin: Trump Announces 20% Tariff On Canadian Softwood Lumber Imports

Tyler Durden's picture

Speaking during a first of its kind meeting dedicated only to members of the U.S. conservative media, including Breitbart News, OANN and Daily Caller, President Trump told reporters to expect a 20% tariff on softwood lumber coming into Canada.

“We’re going to be putting a 20 per cent tax on softwood lumber coming in — tariff on softwood coming into the United States from Canada,”  tweeted Charlie Spiering of Breitbart Media.

Trey Yingst of OANN tweeted that according to Trump “Canada has treated us very unfairly” and also threatened a tax on Canada’s dairy industry.

According to the WSJ, Wilbur Ross said the tariff will be applied retroactively and imposed on Canadian exports to the U.S. of about $5 billion a year. He said the dispute centers on Canadian provinces that have been allegedly allowing loggers to cut down trees at reduced rates and sell them at low prices. "The determination that Canada improperly subsidizes its exports is preliminary, and the Commerce Department will need to make a final decision. In addition, the U.S. International Trade Commission will need to find that the U.S. industry has suffered injury. But even a preliminary decision has immediate real-world consequences, by discouraging importers from buying lumber from Canada."

Or, as a WSJ associate editor put it, "Blame the Chinese, but tax the Canadians:"

“We tried to negotiate a settlement but we were unable,” Mr. Ross said, adding that previous administrations have also been unsuccessful in resolving the dispute.

Speaking to the FT, Wilbur Ross said that the US would impose tariffs ranging from 3 per cent to 24% on five Canadian lumber exporters. The Canadian companies are Canfor, J.D. Irving, Resolute FP Canada, Tolko Marketing and Sales and West Fraser Mills.

“This has been another long-standing dispute with Canada,” said Ross. “These duties will be applied retroactively, 90 days backward, because they were on notice that this was forthcoming and they didn’t change the practice of dumping subsidized lumber.”

Ross also told the FT that the Canadian provinces that own the forests from where softwood lumber is sourced were subsidizing logging activities, which allowed Canada to then dump the lumber in the US at below-market prices.

“It is around $5bn a year worth of lumber that comes in this way. And the Canadians have roughly a 31.5 per cent market share of the whole US softwood lumber (market),” Mr Ross added.

The Trump administration had already notified Canada of its intent to impose the tariffs, a measure which comes as Trump approaches his 100th day in office on Saturday and is another example of his intent to take a more protectionist approach to trade policy.

The tariffs have been anticipated since last week when Trump launched a barrage of criticism against Canada’s dairy, energy and lumber sectors. As Global News adds, the expected announcement from the U.S. Commerce Department on countervailing duties, a type of import tax meant to counter a subsidized export, is just the latest in the ongoing Canada-U.S. softwood row, which stretches back to the 1980s.

Previously, President Trump said the Canadian system of protectionist dairy quotas is harming U.S. farmers, and that he’ll press Canada for changes to its dairy system as part of North American Free Trade Agreement talks.

Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the U.S. has a $400m dairy surplus with Canada adding “it’s not Canada that’s the challenge here.”

The dispute largely stems from the fact most Canadian lumber is harvested on government-owned land while American lumber comes mainly from private land. The American lumber lobby has long accused Canadian governments of allowing companies to cut wood for less than market prices, which they say is an unfair subsidy.

The announcement is also the latest escalation in US trade wars under the new administration, and comes just hours after China warned it would retaliate if the US imposed tariffs on its steel imports.

In separate comments, Breitbart's Charlie Spireling reports that when asked about Assad’s existing stockpile of chemical weapons, Trump responded “Wait and see if he uses them again, OK?"

Trump also discussed the North Korean situations, and said  “this should have been done by Obama and it should have been don by every president since, really, Clinton.” Asked about Kim Jong-un’s military capacity, Trump replies: “I’m not so sure he’s so strong like he says he is, I’m not so sure at all.”

There was immediate selling in the Loonie.

Which just broke to the weakest in 4 months against the US dollar.


And with lumber prices already at 13-year highs, one can only imagine what this will do to the price of houses in America.

Canadians have had a tough time of it recently: they are getting inundated with illegal immigrants (thanks to Trudeau's welcome) and not benefitting from the wholesale emigration north that so many liberals promised if Trump was elected; housing has become unaffordable due to Chinese hot money flows encouraged by the government; the Canadian energy industry is hosed because of US shale production-driven low prices; and now the US imposes trade tariffs on another of their biggest exports.

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mary mary's picture

Ouch.  No more free knish.

philipat's picture

"expect a 20% tariff on softwood lumber coming into Canada".

So Canada is now part of The Empire also?

Mtnrunnr's picture

And so it begins. Be ause trump can't get hard wood

Blue Balls's picture

Trade war.  We are fucked.

Jim Sampson's picture

Fucked would be nice...  what's going to happen will be much worse.

Whoa Dammit's picture

Pretty much all of the lumber sold here comes from Canada. The timber industry and saw mills do not exist anymore here. This will be a big hit to the construction industry, which was just making a come back from the 2008 debacle.

The_Juggernaut's picture

First they came for the companies whose stock I don't own, and I didn't give a shit...

The_Juggernaut's picture

Actually, you should all know that it won't be implemented.  The Canadians will back down.

Adullam's picture

I just talked with a relative of mine who is in management of a sawmill in B.C. and his reply was, "We are going to start shipping to China. This will backfire on the Americans and won't hurt us".

Interesting times indeed.

Déjà view's picture

China does NOT build wooden houses...

Those contributing to U.S. $500b p.a. trade deficits and free shit army have much  MORE TO up Chicom!

Never One Roach's picture

The Ladyboy King of Canada, True Doh, will be pissed.

Manthong's picture


First soft wood, then hard wood.. that’s what she said.

WTF is wrong with free tree trade?”

If my morning pancake syrup goes up in price I maypull my support away.

Luc X. Ifer's picture

Next, Canadian housing bubble kaboom!

ThaBigPerm's picture

Take off, you hosers!  Growin' trees Americans just won't grow....

Terminus C's picture

This is almost certainly a retaliation for the Canadian government's plans to legalize marijuana.

Tyler_Durderian's picture

Looks like at Canada will pay for the border wall in the end.

Trump Must Surrender on Funding For a Border Wall to Avoid a Government Shutdown on His 100th Day in Office

And they will also get all the illegals running away from ICe to Canada. Well, they need a bit of motivation in order to kick that phag PM out of office

Manthong's picture

methinks they all like his smooth features and noobieness.

If I was a faggot like my personal troll, I would too.

winged's picture

Trade Wars have a funny way of turning into a shooting war. That's why Trump picked Canada instead of China. Coward!

Multi's picture

This will cheapen American products for sure.  American consumers, rejoice!!!      /sarc off

From all people I thought Americans were the ones who knew that Mercantilist policies (e.g. import tariffs) only benefit Big Business at the expense of consumers...  wrong I was.

Manthong's picture

“Next, Canadian housing bubble kaboom!”

Oh, c’mon now,,,,,,,

The government knows best and they have imposed controls on the free market.

WTF do you know?

Soon, all will be well and the global fiat scam will work its way out.

Heh.. heh.. heh…….

Manthong's picture

“Maypull” ..   zing… over most heads.

peopledontwanttruth's picture

Hilarious most people live under airports.

popeye's picture

They don't build wooden houses (anymore), but still use alot of timber - mainly from Russia.

Stuck on Zero's picture

China will turn the Canadian logs into finished products and then sell them to us. Will Trump ever do anything to China to make trade fair? 

HowdyDoody's picture

The Chinese will leap at the opportunity, once the US makes the USD a real currency, not a fiat one.

The Ingenious Gentleman's picture

Still, China's the world's biggest wood importer, imports even a bit more than the US does. 

WakeUpPeeeeeople's picture

They typically build fifty-story condo high-rises

Laowei Gweilo's picture

wood construction for housing is growing pretty quickly in some parts of China

and eventually, China will see a 'shift to the suburbs' in the same way the U.S. did and every other country with that much land does

BarkingCat's picture

You can build suburban houses with brick or cinder blocks or even concrete.

Lot of construction in parts of Florida is blocks. In Texas I have seen bricks used. 

I had a guy from Ukraine working for me some years ago and from what he said it was either brick or poured concrete there.

BarkingCat's picture

You can build suburban houses with brick or cinder blocks or even concrete.

Lot of construction in parts of Florida is blocks. In Texas I have seen bricks used. 

I had a guy from Ukraine working for me some years ago and from what he said it was either brick or poured concrete there.

truthseeker47's picture

Chine will then process the lumber and sell it to the US.  Tariffs do not work as intended.

DRTexas's picture

No, they will still sell to the US.  They will make up the tax by hiring the cheap labor illegals that are flooding into Canada instead of the US  And the circle of economic life continues.  China may buy the crap lumber to use as dunnage or shipping crates, but that is all.

pparalegal's picture

Right now pine lumber for houses shold be the cheapest thing around. Because California eco run government nuts outlawed cutting and mills, then force citizens to buy 1000 mile cut pine trucked in from Canada.  But millions of dead old growth pines in the Sierras gets billed to utility customers, because they are now cut and converted to chips to burn at power plants that keep the lights on in San Francisco. Brilliant.

Canary Paint's picture

This is interesting. Dead pine? Is this because of pine beetle infestation?

This was a thing in Arizona.

A_V's picture

Shipping will cost more than tariff...

jal's picture

Canada is selling wood to the USA with a $ 30% less on the exchange and they still want to put a 20% tariff.


Don't negotiate.

China will happily take all the lumber.

jal's picture

Canada is selling wood to the USA with a $ 30% less on the exchange and they still want to put a 20% tariff.


Don't negotiate.

China will happily take all the lumber.

MrGalt's picture

China is going to own their entire pussified country in short order, especially with the frog ski instructor in charge.

Of course the Chicoms are going to have to battle all the imported Jihadis for it...

cheka's picture

trump accomplished - destroying cred of nyc news media

hold him to account on two remaining items: 1. import tariffs  2. stopping the invasion

anything else is gravy

if he does 1 and 2 above, he's done well

Yog Soggoth's picture

Me. If I can't take control of Canadia I will build the northern wall. 

Gazooks's picture

being so insufferably polite





what else?

cheka's picture

this is the trump we supported.  import tariff or continue to get bled out by globalist parasites in nyc.dc

Stuck on Zero's picture

I'm thinking bullish on wood burning stove sales in Canada this winter.

Oh regional Indian's picture

One by one, the process of alienation and segregation of the USA begins. 

And in the way these things work in our dystopian, propagandized times, more and moar americans will scream for more and more protection...... till the realization hits that you are hemmed in and the world is hemmed out...

and you will be on your own against the most powerful opressive regime in the world.

good luck with all that.... 

build that beautiful wall baby.... and then eat the unintended consequences....

Iwanttoknow's picture

ORI, Welcome back.tell us how are things in india.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Teddible my friend, teddible. We are in the midst of our own great fascist dive as a nation, piled on top of our already dysfunctional, propagandized social mess. 

We've got GMO, Vaccine trials, monsoon failures, farmer suicides, debt loading, brutal right wing extremism.... I could go on.

Grim shit.... and meanwile we 're signing multi-billion dollar arms deals with Yis Ra Hell, for arms we do not need against enemies who really aren't.....

India is going to get squeezed really badly in the upcoming showdown....our best friends are the JooSA and Joosrael.... 

in a word, if nothing changes, fugged 9 ways to moonday.

Here, someone penned this piece yesterday that says it all.....


India has entered its darkest hour post Independence. I have no qualms in admitting that the task of coping with this new, violent, bigoted, intellectually dishonest and largely indifferent India that has become an apologist for unconstitutional and indefensible acts and experiments that has knocked the stuffing out of everyone who has believed for so long in the virtues of a morally just and modern nation-state, the way our founding fathers envisaged it to going to be nothing short of gargantuan.

Surely, everything wasn't right, rosy or reasonable even before 2014, but yet, there was an abiding semblance of faith in the self-healing properties of our constitution, there was the sense that despite everything, we the people, can summon up enough stamina to challenge what's not working and fix or throw out those who are ill-suited to wield the reins of power; that if all of us just speak up against systemic injustices at the right time and challenge the official narrative from time to time, there is a fair chance that the rulers can be shamed into embarrassment or at least discredited.

While that might still happen, the fact that millions and millions of people have bought into the hardcore anti-Muslim bigotry of this party is what makes this task a lot more onerous for regular citizens like us.

Unlike Congress, they cannot and will not be booted out by mere administrative failures. They have to fail and fail colossally on multiple fronts, and along side that, the vast majority of Hindus have to have an epiphany of sorts, a mass self-realisation as to why religious fundamentalism is not an answer to the country's ills. Until that happens, I am afraid the BJP will be near-impossible to dislodge.

Because when gau rakshaks kill or hurt innocents, we will be reminded of the metros they are building. When Bajrang Dal makes life hell for Muslims we will be reminded of Swachch Bharat. And on and on it will continue...

They do this because they know they have the mandate, not just to govern but also to further the unsaid agenda that people voted them in for.

India has entered its darkest hour post Independence. And it remains to be seen where the ray of light that is going to set things right will emerge from. For most of us, without a doubt, have been displaying the mental agility of a befuddled moron in the face of a raging fire that threatens to engulf and consume us all.