Trump picks trade fight with Canada

US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross said there has been no serious discussion on India-US FTA

US President Donald Trump and Canada's PM Justin Trudeau.

A rekindled softwood lumber trade dispute with the United States pushed the Canadian dollar to its lowest level in 14 months on Tuesday.

It's not uncommon for administrations to release press releases detailing the high-power conversations that take place behind closed doors.

These moves of President have escalated a spat between neighbors with whom USA has friendliest cross-border relationship in the world.

He said Canada was hurting American dairy farmers near the border, from Wisconsin to NY, by blocking dairy exports "and we're not going to put up with it".

In a tweet Tuesday morning, the President said Canada is making business for dairy farmers in Wisconsin and border states "very hard". They also discussed lumber coming into the United States.

"President Trump agreed not to terminate NAFTA at this time and the leaders agreed to proceed swiftly, according to their required internal procedures, to enable the renegotiation of the NAFTA deal to the benefit of all three countries", a White House statement said.

Canada is the No. 1 consumer of USA exports, Freeland said.

"This has been going on for a while and we're not going to put up with it", he said.

"The Government of Canada disagrees strongly with the U.S. Department of Commerce's decision to impose an unfair and punitive duty".

Trump has also made rumblings of late about imposing tariffs on Canada's dairy industry.

Trump's aggressive comments echoed a tweet he sent earlier in the day, just hours after the Commerce Department announced it was imposing tariffs of up to 24 percent on Canadian softwood lumber, which it says is improperly subsidized.

"They have more to lose than to gain if there's going to be some sort of retaliation", Wall said, but added the country needs to have a rational approach.

The tariffs come after an agreement signed under President George W. Bush expired in 2015.

"In terms of timeliness, it's connected to the dairy issue".

He said Canada imports over $550 million of dairy products from the United States, but exports just over $110 million to the country.

In Ottawa, the Canadian officials jumped up to respond Washington's decision to impose duties around 20 per cent on Canadian softwood products.

The dispute over softwood lumber between the two countries spans decades.

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