The Trump Administration down south has placed tariffs as high as 24 percent on Canadian softwood Lumber. Local MP Shannon Stubbs feels the Liberals are to blame for this state of affairs, citing a failure to renegotiate a new deal after the last one expired in October.
“The Liberals are failing to create jobs and grow the economy. On Tuesday, Canadians learned how they have failed the forestry workers and their families, by blatantly jeopardizing their livelihoods,” said Stubb, who is also Deputy Critic for Natural Resources.
“While the Prime Minister is taking pictures with Ivanka Trump and making claims that the Canadian government is focused on growing the middle class, he is failing hard working Canadians. Forestry workers across Canada deserve stability and predictability from their government. Liberal inaction on the Softwood Lumber file will cost Canadian companies millions of dollars and could result in more closers like the shutdown of the Miller Western Sawmill in the Village of Boyle,” said MP Stubbs.
The deal represents 2 percent of Canada’s GDP and 370,000 jobs are tied to the industry.
“A tariff of up to 24 percent on Canadian lumber will only result in more mill closures and more job losses across Canada,” said MP Stubbs. “Negotiating a new softwood lumber agreement has never been a priority for the Liberals. There is zero leadership and no mention of securing a new agreement in any of the Minister’s mandate letters. Although the Prime Minister has had a preliminary conversation with President Trump vowing to continue a strong dialogue between the two nations on bilateral trade, the lack of action on this file to date is extremely concerning. If the Liberals were truly defending the Canadian softwood lumber industry, they would have made sure that this level of tariff never happened in the first place,” said MP Stubbs.
How willing the current government in the States is to negotiate such a deal is debatable, given Trump’s staunch “Made in America” agenda.
“We love Canada, wonderful people, wonderful country, but they have been very good about taking advantage of us through NAFTA,” the president said in a recent press conference. Trump has also taken swipes at the Canadian dairy industry in recent days.