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Donald Trump’s war on Canadian lumber socialism is business as usual for US presidents

The Trump administration took its first truly protectionist step yesterday, but its target wasn’t China or Mexico.

Instead, the US Commerce Department issued a preliminary finding that Canadian lumber imports receive unfair government subsidies, and ordered customs officers to begin collecting border tariffs averaging 20% on softwood coming over the border. Last year, the US imported more than $5 billion worth of lumber like this, much of it for homebuilding.

“This is not our idea of a properly functioning Free Trade Agreement,” commerce secretary Wilbur Ross warned in a statement.


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