NB to fight U-S imposed duties on softwood lumber

The New Brunswick government says it will take every avenue available to fight a preliminary determination announced by the U-S Department of Commerce imposing duties on imports of softwood lumber products from Canada.

Treasury Board President Roger Melanson, who is also the minister responsible for Trade Policy says they strongly disagree with the decision to impose an unfair and unjust duty.

The forestry industry supports thousands of jobs in both Canada and the United States. In New Brunswick, the softwood lumber industry contributes more than $1.45 billion to the provincial economy each year and employs more than 22,000 people.

Premier Brian Gallant says Trump's presidency and his protectionist views and approach is the greatest hazard to our economy.

The province has set up a task force to address the issue. The task force, representing 11 government departments, aims to determine and mitigate the impact the preliminary decision by the United States could have on New Brunswick communities and families.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who had a phone call with President Trump warns that Canada and the U-S could see a ``thickening'' border, as trade tensions escalate between the two countries.