Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross on Saturday doubled down on the imposition of tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber, saying they were not based on “political considerations” and that “threats of retaliatory action” are “inappropriate.”
“The Department of Commerce’s recent preliminary decision to impose tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber was based on the facts presented, not on political considerations,” Ross said in a statement. “If any Canadian or British Columbian official wishes to present additional information, we will consider it carefully and impartially.”
Ross added that a “negotiated settlement is in the best interest of all parties” and the U.S. is willing to work toward one.
“Threats of retaliatory action are inappropriate and will not influence any final determinations,” he continued.
Last month, the Trump administration imposed a roughly 20 percent tariff on softwood lumber imported from Canada, garnering bipartisan support.
In a letter sent Friday to British Columbia Premier Christy Clark, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the tax “unfair,” saying he is “carefully and seriously” considering trade action on coal exports.
“We share the commitment to fighting climate change and protecting the environment,” Trudeau wrote. “We strongly disagree with the US Department of Commerce’s decision to impose an unfair and punitive duty on Canadian softwood lumber.”