The Trump administration is hitting Canada with stiff tariffs of up to 24% on lumber shipped into the United States.
These are the first tariffs imposed by President Trump, who during his election campaign threatened to use them on imports from both China and Mexico.
The decision on Monday evening is bound to lead to a standoff and could stoke fears of a trade war between the U.S. and Canada, two of the world’s largest trade powers.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the tariffs, or taxes, announced Monday evening were being imposed after trade talks on dairy products fell through.
“It has been a bad week for U.S.-Canada trade relations,” Ross said in a statement.
Trump’s tariffs come as the U.S., Canada and Mexico prepare to renegotiate NAFTA, the 1994 free trade agreement. Trump has directed almost all of his NAFTA criticism at Mexico, which makes this decision even more surprising.
When Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Trump in February, Trump said he only expected to be “tweaking” the U.S.-Canada trade relationship.
But his tune changed Tuesday morning.
“Canada has made business for our dairy farmers in Wisconsin and other border states very difficult. We will not stand for this. Watch!” Trump tweeted.