President Donald Trump is right to impose tariffs on softwood lumber entering the United States from Canada, according to former President Jimmy Carter.
In an op-ed piece for The Washington Post, the 39th president wrote his own family members, who own 1,800 acres of timberland, have "suffered financially for many years from an unfair advantage enjoyed by our major competitor in this vital market."
"This belated enforcement of U.S. trade laws will help millions of private timberland owners, American forestry workers and members of their local communities by leveling the playing field in the timber industry," Carter wrote.
The Commerce Department last month said it would impose a "countervailing duty" of between 3 percent and 24 percent on Canadian lumber exporters, with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross estimating the duties would amount to about $1 billion on softwood lumber.
The move swiftly reignited a long-running trade dispute between the United States and Canada, The Hill reported; softwood lumber is one of Canada's largest exports, with the United States taking in almost 80 percent of the supply.
"While there are many benefits to [a] harmonious bilateral relationship between the United States and Canada, our neighbor to the north must still play by the rules and stop engaging in unfair trade practices," Carter wrote.
Carter's remarks come amid trade tensions Trade tensions between the United States and Canada over the North American Free Trade Agreement – which Trump had threatened to scrap until White House officials reportedly enlisted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to help convince Trump to renegotiate and remain part of the agreement.
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