Maine governor to seek New Brunswick exemption in softwood talks, minister says

New Brunswick's trade minister says Maine's governor is expected to support New Brunswick's bid to be exempt from softwood lumber tariffs at a White House meeting Wednesday.

Late Monday, the U.S. Department of Commerce hit Canada with an additional 6.87 per cent in preliminary average anti-dumping tariffs, leaving the industry facing average duties of about 27 per cent.

The decision exempts the other three Atlantic provinces, but New Brunswick, exempt from such tariffs in the past, is not.

Roger Melanson says Monday's decision is only preliminary and New Brunswick is working hard to convince the U.S. government it deserves an exemption too when a final decision is made later this year.

He says Maine Governor Paul LePage knows the importance of strong trading ties between his state and New Brunswick and will help make the case for an exemption.

Last month, the New Brunswick government appointed former U.S. ambassador David Wilkins as the province's special envoy on the softwood trade dispute.