GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — Alberta Premier Ralph Klein spoke out this week on the lumber war that is brewing between Canada and the U.S., promising strong reaction if any U.S. tariffs are imposed.
Alberta exports about 1.1 million board feet of lumber to the U.S. each year, which is valued at between $200 and $385 million.
Recently, the U.S. Department of Commerce suggested that retroactive tariffs to Apr. 1, could be put in place to offset the damage they claim has resulted to U.S. producers from low-cost Canadian wood imports.
“We are very concerned about the preliminary findings relative to softwood lumber. We feel we are not in violation of any trade agreements,” Klein told local media while attending a dinner in Grande Prairie.
Klein insists that if the U.S. goes ahead and implements tariffs, Alberta “will intervene with the federal government. We will present our case as strongly as we possibly can…We will be very vigorous in our opposition to U.S. claims that we are providing subsidies.”
Klein went on to say “I’ve been hearing concerns that we have to win this. It would have tremendous impact on our ability to export and export freely without the burden of excessive tariffs.”
A decision from the U.S. side is expected within a week.