Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed to stand up for Canadian interests on Tuesday after the U.S. imposed new tariffs on softwood lumber and trade tensions between the two countries escalated, sending the Canadian dollar to a 14-month low.
While the currency fell, shares in Canadian lumber companies rose as the level of the new tariffs came in at the low end of what investors were expecting.
The United States will impose preliminary anti-subsidy duties averaging 20 percent on imports of Canadian softwood lumber, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Monday, escalating a long-running trade dispute between the two neighbors.
The move, which affects some $5.66 billion worth of imports of the construction material, sets a tense tone as the two countries and Mexico prepare to renegotiate the 23-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement.
Speaking to a technology company in Ontario, Trudeau said he would defend the national interest, and cabinet colleagues were poised to speak to the media to outline Canada’s possible responses to the tariffs later in the day.
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