Nova Scotia working to maintain softwood lumber duty exclusion

The province says it's disappointed by the United States Department of Commerce's announcement on Tuesday that it is delaying a decision on a request to be excluded from countervailing duties on softwood lumber and that it will temporarily impose duties until a final decision is made. 

Trade Minister Michel Samson says the province is determined to get exlcuded as quickly as possible as industry and government have worked very hard to validate the province's long-standing exclusion. 

He also says securing an exclusion from duties is key to ensuring the competitiveness of Nova Scotia's forestry sector, which provides 11,500 direct and indirect jobs in rural areas. 

The U.S. Department of Commerce is expected to announce a final decision on countervailing duties and anti-dumping duties in the fall.

The White House says President Donald Trump had a "very amicable call" with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday, hours after Trump claimed Canada has long "outsmarted" the U.S. and will do so no more.

Trump has been railing against Canada's decision to change its policy on pricing certain milk products, and moved Monday to impose a hefty tariff on Canadian softwood lumber imports, accusing Canadians of unfairly subsidizing lumber prices.

The Prime Minister's Office is offering a more detailed description of the phone call.

It says Trudeau, quote, "refuted the baseless allegations" by the U.S. Commerce Department about Canadian lumber, and conveyed that Canada would continue to defend its interests when it comes to milk products.

(With files from The Canadian Press)